Darius Boyd, Kade Snowden, Timana Tahu, Jammal Idris, and Ben Roberts are just a few big name athletes in the National Rugby League. At one time or another all these men have represented their country at the highest level.

Jammal Idris and Kade Snowden recently represented Australia in the mid-year test match, as would have Darius Boyd if he was not injured. Whilst veterans Tahu and Roberts are experienced players who have both tasted representative success.

The one thing all these men have in common is they have been some of the major contract signings of this season. One club players become a rare commodity in modern day sport. Many players are forced to leave due to the salary cap or are in search for a more prominent position in a team due to high levels of talent at numerous teams, such was the case of Ben Roberts. Some players also wish to return home to their regional area such as Tahu and Snowden.

The NRLs salary cap auditor Ian Schurbert created not only controversy but wide spread water cooler talk last week when he said a draft system should be considered, as used in NFL and Basketball. This asks the question if it’s right to take control from the players in relation to their contractual agreements. Schubert stated that there would have to be lucrative reasons behind it, but to what extent is it fair to take away the opportunity to represent your local team just because you come from a strong area of junior football?

Players should have control over their own futures. There have been complaints over it disrupting a team and dislocating the fans but on the other side of the coin it can revitalise a fans faith in a struggling team. The Newcastle Knights being taken over by mining magnate Nathan Tinkler has created a buzz in the town of steel. Being paupers of rugby league since their inception they can finally be on equal footing with teams in capital cities such as Brisbane, Melbourne and the Sydney based teams.

Also, a team such as the Gold Coast Titans who on average is the oldest team, player wise, in the NRL is a key part in the war between codes after the AFLs $100 million investment in establishing a club on the Gold Coast even going as far as to snare an established NRL star in Karmichael Hunt. With a draft system it would take years to revitalise the Titans team, which this year have made strategic signings in rebuilding their team with the signings of Jammal Idris, Luke Douglas, Nate Myles, and Beau Champion.

The current system is a system of freedom with sensible restraint which is needed today in the modern game. It may cause some distain ability over the initial news but  it’s a slippery slope when you try and improve a system that already works.

 

Advertisements