NRL urged to lift cap

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NRL urged to lift cap

The NRL has been urged to increase next year's salary cap in time avoid a player exodus to England and rugby union.

The NRL and the Rugby League Professionals Association, the players union, met on Wednesday to open discussions on the Collective Bargaining Agreement and the salary cap, which currently stands at $3.366 million per club, was at the forefront of discussions.

It is believed the RLPA wants that figure significantly increased but until it is finalised by the NRL, clubs seeking to negotiate with their player will be affected.

They include the Canterbury Bulldogs, Manly and St George-Illawarra.

The Bulldogs have several players coming out of contract, including Roy Asotasi, whose manager Mark Rowan is in discussion with the club but will leave for England this weekend to speak to Super League teams, Willie Tonga, Reni Maitua and Luke Patten.

The Sea Eagles, who are likely to sign former Parramatta and Australia centre Jamie Lyon, are also waiting for Ben Kennedy to decide his future and want a quick resolution to the cap issue.

"We're hoping the NRL will give us that advice pretty soon," Manly chief Pat Wilson told The Australian.

And the Dragons are battling to retain skipper Trent Barrett, a target of English clubs, and centre Mark Gasnier, who is being lured by rugby union, while Mathew Head, Ben Creagh, Michael Henderson, Clint Greenshields, Justin Poore and Ashton Sims are all out of contract later in the year.

"If there's going to be some change to the basis of our management of our salary cap and/or player remuneration ... well you'd want to be informed of that as soon as you can," Dragons chief Peter Doust said.

NRL chief David Gallop is also understood to have assured club bosses that a quick resolution to the issue would be forthcoming.

"We're hoping to finalise a deal before June," RLPA president Matthew Rodwell said.
 
Team P W L PD Pts
10 9 1 124 20
10 8 2 81 18
10 7 3 70 16
10 7 3 69 16
11 7 4 59 14
10 6 4 -10 14
11 6 5 107 12
11 6 5 -9 12
10 5 5 -56 12
11 5 5 30 11
10 4 6 15 10
11 5 6 -12 10
11 4 6 -7 9
10 3 7 -103 8
10 2 8 -81 6
10 2 8 -91 6
10 1 9 -186 4
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