Warrington Wolves new signing Luther Burrell won’t count on the club’s salary cap for the first 18 months after taking advantage of the talent pool dispensation rule.
The rule was introduced two years ago and allows teams to sign players from outside the sport with no impact on their overall cap allowance.
And with Burrell arriving from Rugby Union, he won’t cost the Wolves a penny for 18 months and will only count on their salary cap from the end of his initial contract.
The 31-year-old has signed a deal with the Wolves until the end of the 2021 season and will become available on July 1, when his deal with Northampton Saints expires.
Although he has never played Rugby League professionally, Burrell was on the books at Huddersfield Giants in his youth, before switching codes to play for Leeds Carnegie and then Sale Sharks.
Speaking to the Warrington Guardian, Wire Chief Executive Karl Fitzpatrick said: “The rule has been in place for a number of years but probably hasn’t been utilised.
“It’s called the new talent pool dispensation, so if you were to bring in Usain Bolt or anybody from outside rugby league, it will not impact on your cap for at least the first two years.
“If you’ve never played rugby league at professional level you get 100 per cent dispensation, which means in this case we’ll basically get Luther at zero on the cap for the remainder of this year and next year and then in 2021 he’s at 50 per cent.
“So it can make a real difference. Clubs are allowed two spots, so if another one did become available which we thought could benefit our squad and could make the transition, we would look at that again.
“Obviously we’ve still got to pay his salary and that’s where we’re fortunate to have Simon Moran and Stuart Middleton, the chairman, who back the club in these instances.”
*Picture: Warrington Wolves