Super League salary cap moves criticised

Two-time Super League winner Ian Millward has described moves to raise the competition’s salary cap as “window dressing”.

On Thursday, the Rugby Football League approved proposals which will see the cap increased to £1.9million next season and to £2.1million by 2020.

The move includes concessions for ‘marquee’ players and those new or returning to the sport.

However, Millward says more should have been done to rewards clubs for developing their own players and help slow the talent drain to the NRL, the equivalent Australian competition.

“I just think it’s window dressing,” he told “How many players in Super League are on £175,000 (the definition of a marquee player)? You’ll be lucky if it’s more than four players.

“All it will do is make the stronger and wealthier clubs become stronger because the lower clubs don’t even contemplate marquee players.

“Look at rugby union. Its cap is £7million in comparison to £1.8 at present in Super League. To entice anyone over is a massive risk.”

Millward, currently working as director of rugby at NRL club St George Illawarra, says more incentives for clubs producing their own players should have been greater weight.

“What’s needed is a greater allowance for players produced through an academy or youth set-up. That’s my main concern.

“There should also be more concessions for players with X number of games for a club.

“That will help in terms of losing players to the NRL.

“English players produced locally are going to the NRL and there has to be compensation for that junior development, recognition of a club producing its own players.

“You are not going to get marquee players from the NRL. There’s just more money in the NRL and greater exposure to commercial endorsements. Unfortunately the better ones aren’t coming (to Super League).

“But there are really good English players coming to the NRL. They can be produced but there need to be greater concessions (for Super League clubs) to keep them.”

However, Super League’s executive director Roger Draper says the adopted proposals will help do that.

He said: "We believe that when you consider all of them together, these changes could make a significant difference to helping clubs attract and retain the best talent in this league and that is something we all are determined to do."

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