SEA Eagles management remain confident off-contract New Zealand Test centre Steve Matai will remain at the club beyond 2010 following the salary cap increase.
The increased salary cap in 2011 should help the Sea Eagles retain Steve Matai. Picture: Braden Fastier
NRL chief executives agreed on Tuesday evening to lift the salary by $100,000 to $4.2 million per year.
The club bosses also voted to lift the marquee player allowance from $150,000 to $300,000.
This allowance is outside of the salary cap, allowing players to earn additional third-party payments beyond their club contracts.
The Manly Daily understands the salary cap increase would not have allowed the Sea Eagles to keep half Trent Hodkinson, who will join the Bulldogs for three years at the end of the current season.
Hodkinson was in negotiations with both clubs for several months, but accepted the Belmore deal before the cap increase.
However, the slight increase should help the Sea Eagles retain Matai who has been linked to rivals Cronulla and the English Super League.
Matai badly wants to stay and the Sea Eagles are equally determined to accommodate him.
Fellow back Ben Farrar is also negotiating a new deal to stay at the Sea Eagles. The 23-year-old former Cowboy has blossomed at the club since switching from Townsville 12 months ago and has no plans to go.
“I’d love to stay,” Farrar told the Daily.
“The boys are awesome and it’s a great place to live.”