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5 days ago
The NRL needs to do something to help clubs retain loyal players. Loyalty should be rewarded and pursued by all players. These regular and loyal players are usually the same players who the NRL focus their advertising and merchandising around to shift gear and attract sponsors.
What happens in return? Well you get high profile players like Gasnier, Williams and now possibly, Benji Marshall all switching codes, or looking at offers from England.
Sure some of these decisions may be for personal reasons, but you can be damned sure that money plays a big part.
What does the NRL do to prevent this loss of quality cattle?
Well we're still waiting on the answer for that.
And while we wait, more and more big name players will head over to France and play Rugby Union, further damaging our game and depriving it of it's marquee players.
This loyalty issue doesn't just focus on players switching codes or playing in England, but is also relevant within the NRL.
Players should be rewarded, handsomely, for their loyalty. If they stay at a club for 5 years, they become eligible for some extra incentive payment, every year after that they stay with the club that payment should increase. These payments should be entirely seperate to the salary cap.
It saves the NRL having to increase the cap and helps players get more money. If they can commit to playing with one club for as long as possible then they will be rewarded. Prostituting themselves around purely for money makes them look greedy.
Sure, giving them incentive payments to stay loyal may also seem greedy, but having more stable team rosters will lead to a greater sense of team and will create nothing but more passionate fans.