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Exploring Salary Cap Exemptions: ARLC Deliberates on Clubs Signing Wallabies Stars

  • Sport
  • Monday, 13 November 2023 21:42

"ARLC Contemplates Salary Cap Exemptions: Boost for NRL Clubs Eyeing Wallabies Stars and Rising Talent"

The upcoming board meeting of the Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) is poised to address the potential ratification of salary cap exemptions, opening the door for NRL clubs to sign players transitioning from rival codes. This development carries significant implications not only for the Sydney Roosters, who are in talks with potential recruit Mark Nawaqanitawase, but also for Rugby Australia's emerging talent, notably the sought-after free agent Max Jorgensen.

In an exclusive revelation, this masthead disclosed the Roosters' plans to engage in discussions with Nawaqanitawase, targeting his potential inclusion in the 2025 season roster. This strategic move aligns with the impending retirement of club legend Daniel Tupou and the commencement of Joseph Suaalii's substantial three-year, $4.8 million rugby deal.

The Roosters' pursuit of Nawaqanitawase is not without context, considering the backdrop of Rugby Australia's acquisition of Joseph Suaalii, a development that has prompted other rugby stars, including Max Jorgensen, to contemplate lucrative opportunities in the NRL. Sources familiar with Jorgensen's contract situation indicate that the teenage fullback could command nearly $1 million annually when his existing deal concludes at the end of the upcoming season.

The ARLC's potential move to expedite plans for financial incentives to NRL clubs targeting top-tier talent from rival codes could facilitate Jorgensen's transition to the NRL. ARLC chairman Peter V'landys expressed a desire in April to encourage clubs to pursue Wallabies and stars from diverse sporting backgrounds. The initial discussions involved providing NRL clubs with up to $1 million in salary cap relief for international talent hailing from other codes. The envisioned strategy aimed to encourage clubs to scout young talent from rugby systems in South Africa and Argentina, as well as potential NFL prospects in the United States.

V'landys emphasized the ARLC's willingness to explore salary cap exemptions, particularly for Wallabies and All Blacks seeking to join the NRL, stating, "If a Wallaby or an All Black wanted to come over, we’d look at cap exemptions for sure. We have been looking at this for quite a while, and it’s a good time to revisit this. It’s something I’d like to see come in and come in now." This prospective shift in policy could further elevate the appeal of players like Nawaqanitawase and Jorgensen for NRL clubs, potentially reshaping the landscape of player recruitment and talent acquisition in the league.

As Saturday unfolded, attempts to reach V'landys for comment were unsuccessful. However, insiders with insights into the matter affirmed that mounting pressure is being exerted on the Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) to formulate a policy in the imminent weeks. The urgency suggests a potential development on the horizon, highlighting the gravity of the discussions surrounding salary cap exemptions and their potential implementation. Stay tuned for further updates as the ARLC navigates the demands and considerations of this evolving situation.

As Saturday unfolded, attempts to reach V'landys for comment were unsuccessful. However, insiders with insights into the matter affirmed that mounting pressure is being exerted on the Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) to formulate a policy in the imminent weeks. The urgency suggests a potential development on the horizon, highlighting the gravity of the discussions surrounding salary cap exemptions and their potential implementation. Stay tuned for further updates as the ARLC navigates the demands and considerations of this evolving situation.