NRL salary cap disgraceful: player agent - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NRL salary cap disgraceful: player agent

By David Beniuk 11/05/2010 06:46:50 PM Comments (0)

Leading player agent Sam Ayoub says he had to do the deal to keep Johnathan Thurston in the NRL with his "hands tied" by salary cap restrictions.

With the league's marquee players up in arms about stars quitting the code, the struggle to keep the man regarded by many as the best in the game was highlighted as Thurston recommitted to North Queensland on Tuesday.

"It's disgraceful, we work with our hands tied," Ayoub said of Thurston coming close to joining French rugby union club Biarritz.

"We work with our hands tied to keep the players in the game when realistically there's very little support given to help keep the players in the game."

Cowboys coach Neil Henry said stitching a deal together for an elite player like the Test halfback was tough.

"It's difficult, there's no doubt the marquee players' (allowance) and the cap does limit you but we have to be realistic about what the game generates too at the moment until we move on with the new television/media deals," Henry said.

Thurston said he hoped his decision to re-sign would help convince the likes of former Test centre Israel Folau to stay with league.

"I'd like to see him stay, he's only 21 and certainly what the game could do for him when he finishes playing footy, it's endless," Thurston said.

Penrith captain Petero Civoniceva met Rugby League Players Association (RLPA) boss David Garnsey on Tuesday amidst a report NRL stars were planning secret talks about their concerns.

The Test prop said players would back the RLPA as the players' voice.

Garnsey said the players' main issues - code-switching, salaries, third party sponsorship restrictions and the penalties meted out to Melbourne after the club's salary cap rort - were all being addressed in negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement.

"There's no crisis, there's obviously a lot of issues that people are interested in talking about at the moment and they're going to be rolled into our collective bargaining agreement negotiations," Garnsey told Sky Sports Radio.

"We need to have the players earn what they deserve and also they want to feel as though the code values them so that they are more inclined to stay than go elsewhere.

"We can find ways to make this game more lucrative or attractive.

"There are third party opportunities and there should be flexibility there."

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