Super League have released a statement condemning comments made by Wayne Bennett.
The Great Britain boss yesterday implied that he would not be considering Ryan Sutton for selection had he not moved from Super League to the NRL.
At the press conference in St Helens, Bennett said: “If he (Sutton) was still here (in England) we wouldn’t have seen the potential he has got. It just challenges them over there (in the NRL) because the competition is so hard.”
The 69-year-old went on to say that Sutton had “risen to the occasion” since joining Canberra Raiders from Wigan Warriors prior to the season.
However these words have not gone down well with Super League chief executive Robert Elstone.
Elstone said: “Securing and retaining the world’s best players is a priority for Super League.
“Quite rightly – and even more so now as we are nearing discussions around a new broadcast deal – it is seen by our clubs as fundamental to the future success of the competition.
“While several of our leading players have excelled in the NRL and, in all likelihood, more will want to test themselves in that environment, it does feel wrong that the coach of our national team is linking a move to the NRL so closely to the award of international honours.
“’None of us should lose sight of the fact that it is the Super League competition that has developed these players, and that all aspects of the game on this side of the world will benefit by them staying.”