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3 days ago
National Rugby League clubs have baulked at instigating measures to combat rugby union in the belief that the threat is over - for now.
Club chief executives on Tuesday decided not to take any action to ward off the rival code in the wake of Brisbane winger Lote Tuqiri's highly-publicised decision to swap codes on Monday.
The issue was raised at a meeting in Sydney, but club officials decided to stall any decision on the matter until the end of the season.
Melbourne chief executive Chris Johns said the threat from rugby union was over in the short term, with the ARU having already secured the signatures of Wendell Sailor and Mat Rogers last year and Tuqiri on Monday.
"The ARU is not going to be targeting us before the World Cup," Johns said.
"They already have three wingers. They'd have to put an Australia B side together before they could fit any more in.
"The urgency is not there at the moment."
The Broncos have been the hardest hit by the ARU's poaching of league stars and coach Wayne Bennett was scathing in his criticism of the NRL for their failure to act before Tuqiri's defection.
But Brisbane chief executive Shane Edwards agreed there was no need to make a decision on salary cap relief following the ARU's trumpeting of Tuqiri on Monday.
"They're saying let's look at our options," Edwards said.
"I am sure by taking our time it might open up a few more options."
The NRL is believed to be considering extending the $114,709 salary cap exemption for long-serving players and under 21 rugby union players which comes into effect next season to include players targeted by the 15-a-side game.
But NRL chief executive David Gallop said clubs remained wary of extending the $3.67 million salary cap.
"The buying power of our clubs is well over $57 million in terms of players' wages," Gallop said.
"There was some obvious discussion on the back of news about Lote Tuqiri's announcement.
"But the clear message from the clubs today was that we should tread carefully before providing increases in the salary cap to inflate the player market."