Irish and Welsh heritage players could be made exempt from Super League salary cap

PLAYERS with Irish and Welsh heritage could be made exempt from the Super League salary cap, Director of Legal and Operations Robert Hicks has suggested.

In a brilliant podcast episode of Forty20 Live, Hicks was asked how the international game could be improved – with focus on the northern hemisphere as a whole.

Hicks was keen to stress that the RFL and Super League could do more, with potential salary cap exemptions for heritage players amongst the considerations.

“We can do some things but we have got to do it in the realms of how much the sport can spend on the international game. We can do some things longer term,” Hicks said on Forty20 Live.

“IMG have some France recommendations and those are imperative to grow France as it is the second largest playing pool behind England.

“The reality is, in the mens’ team, England mean are a long way ahead of their nearest rivals but we have to nurture those games and find the right venues for them.

“We could do some regulatory things around them with heritage players on cap for free, instead of it just being ex-rugby union players. If thy had Welsh or Irish heritage we could do that.

“We could go further. If England aren’t going to pick Toby King, for example, he could go and play for Ireland, but that’s only short-term.

“Samoa and Tonga are only doing what they are because the rules allow them to pick heritage players.”

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