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Super League clubs divided over increasing number of marquee players

George Williams

This week was teed up as big week in rugby league in terms of Super League recruitment and retention.

It could be a week in which a decisive step was taken to end the days of losing our star British players to the NRL.

This comes because Super League clubs heard potential rule changes to the marquee player system as initially reported by Sky Sports’ Jon Wells.

This could see the number of marquee players increased from two to three. Their contracts do not appear fully on a club’s salary cap.

This third marquee player would have to be British or French which is vital in incentivising clubs to invest in local players who can be the stars of the international game and also keep Super League strong.

The best example of this is the way Warrington Wolves tied down George Williams despite NRL interest.

It will enable this to happen more often at clubs which can only be good for Super League and England.

This all comes from Jon Wells of Sky Sports who said recently:

“Put the 10th of May in your diary. This could be a significant one as I understand that this could be when clubs are presented with changes to the number and governance of clubs’ marquee player allowances in Super League

“Including the merits of an increase from two to three under the proviso one is at least is reserved for a domestic or federation trained player in what would be a clear move to allow Super League clubs keep that top English talent and stop them going over to the NRL without directly increasing the salary cap.”

Serious About Rugby League approached the RFL for comment about this meeting and it was confirmed that clubs are divided on the matter.

“No decision was made and contrasting views were expressed,” confirmed the spokesperson.

It was reported by Leeds Live that some clubs are unwilling to commit because there is no confirmation about a TV deal and central distribution money.

Meanwhile they believe the focus should be on younger players and stopping them going to the NRL.

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