NRL clubs vote to retain cap

The National Rugby League clubs have agreed to retain the existing $3.25 million salary cap next season and put off talks on increasing the cap for 2005 until later this year.

Club chief executives met on the NSW Central Coast yesterday as part of a two-day camp to discuss the future of the game. A strong majority agreed to retain the present cap this season, and consider lifting the cap for 2005 at the NRL's annual conference later this year.

NRL chief executive David Gallop says the view is pretty clear that the time to change the cap is not while clubs are trying to re-sign players before the June 30 deadline.

Cronulla general manager Steve Rogers believes sanity has prevailed with the decision, but Bulldogs chief executive Steve Mortimer concedes it will hurt their chances of retaining all their stars with $3.25 million.

The Sydney Roosters, Brisbane and St George Illawarra also wanted an increase.