Koukash’s marquee player idea rejected

Super League clubs have rejected Salford Red Devils owner Dr Marwan Koukash’s idea of introducing a marquee player rule in the competition.

Only Wigan, Leeds, Widnes and Warrington voted in favour alongside the Salford club.

“Super League clubs voted against the introduction of marquee players,” Koukash revealed on his Twitter account.

Koukash wanted to introduce the marquee player in a bid to combat the increasing number of players leaving Super League for rugby union and the NRL.

“It is very frustrating but I will not give up on the idea,” he said.

“I will have to look at other ways to bring in players. I think the RFL have probably seen today that the game may be being held back by a group of clubs.”

Koukash says he tried to lure Sam Burgess to Salford before the England international agreed a move to Bath rugby union and has openly talked of bringing Sonny Bill Williams and Billy Slater to Super League.

Salford coach Brian Noble has confirmed he has identified rugby union targets for Salford.

The former Great Britain coach signed Wales winger Gareth Thomas for Wrexham-based Super League club Crusaders in 2010 and is currently being linked with England centre Manu Tuilagi.

“The game needs superstars,” Noble said. “In the year Gareth Thomas signed the copy went through the roof.

“We have trouble getting national coverage and, unless we do things out of the box, some innovative things without breaking the bank of the game – there needs to be a bit of sobriety around finances – then do it.

“If someone wants to spend money on getting some stars in the game, then I’m all for it.

“Financially, you have to compete with rugby union for the player and you have to give him a product that is attractive.

“The player has to want to come and play rugby league. It’s a little bit like Sam Burgess going to rugby union – I’m pretty confident there is an element of challenge in there for him because of the guy that he is.

“I think there are lots of rugby union players out there who have the ability to make rugby league players.

“It might take time because they are different games but absolutely there are players out there that can make the transition.

“The flow at the moment seems to be one way because of the athleticism and prowess of our players and they will come for more unless we do something about that.”

Bradford were not represented at the meeting after chief executive Robbie Hunter-Paul gave his apologies in order to oversee the current crisis at the Bulls.

Want more Rugby League news and features? Subscribe to the online version of League Express newspaper and Rugby League World magazine. You can also connect with Total Rugby League on the social media platform of your choice.