Published On: Tue, Feb 19th, 2019

NRL Legend Glenn Lazarus Demands Pay Shake-Up

Former National Rugby League (NRL) icon Glenn Lazarus has insisted that the NRL’s governing body should review the league’s pay system. Lazarus, a former Australian prop, believes the NRL should pay players rather than the clubs, in a bid to circumvent salary cap issues. This summer’s preseason has also been blighted by more controversy regarding salary caps, with both Cronulla and Wests in hot water while the likes of Manly, Parramatta and Canterbury have all fallen foul of the salary cap in recent times.

This preseason’s transfer merry-go-round is a perfect case in point for Lazarus. The Cowboys recently released Ethan Lowe to sign up for the Rabbitohs, only hours after reports that Jordan Kahu would arrive in North Queensland from the Broncos. The Sharks were also forced to let Shaun Johnson off their books after reports of a salary cap fudge had also reared its ugly head there.

Lazarus described the issue of clubs dealing with salary caps — and “all the checks and balances” that go with it — “a circus.” He believes that “rather than giving lump sums to clubs,” it would be more beneficial for the “players [to] negotiate the fee,” allow the club to issue the contract and “then the NRL pays that.” Although Lazarus admits it would be tricky to set up, having the NRL pay for player contracts in this way would ensure the NRL has “more of an idea about what’s going on in these clubs,” preventing teams from agreeing to wages they know full well they cannot afford.

It’s crucial for the NRL to consider all avenues at a time when the spotlight of the sporting world has shined brightly on the Sydney Roosters as of late. Recently, the Roosters, who traveled to meet the Wigan Warriors in the U.K. for their World Club Challenge showdown, were indebted to one of their new boys, Brett Morris, for a hat-trick of tries in a highly professional 20-8 win in the Warriors’ backyard.

There is no doubt that the Roosters will start the new NRL season as the favorites, with the odds on the NRL Grand Final having the Roosters picking up the trophy currently a little over 3/1. Their recent World Club Challenge success over the Warriors also curried favor with the bookmakers. The Roosters appear to have added more firepower to their squad in the preseason too, with the likes of Angus Crichton, Ryan Hall and Brett Morris all deemed impressive acquisitions.

The boost of winning their fourth World Club Challenge, equaling the tally of the Warriors, should give the Roosters an edge over the rest of the NRL. However, their latest win over the Warriors had a little-added spice given that the Warriors are now coached by Adrian Lam, whose son, Lachlan, lined up for the Roosters, plotting his father’s downfall.

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