Lam warns against loss of talent

Adrian Lam has warned that the British game would likely suffer a player drain if the salary cap were to be reduced.

The Wigan head coach believes the domestic game will have its brightest talent poached by the NRL if the cap is reduced, with half of Super League’s clubs wanting the cap to reduce by almost 15 per cent to £1.8 million.

Lam, who has strong contacts down under, says more and more clubs are looking at the UK for players following the success of John Bateman, Josh Hodgson and more, and he fears that it will become increasingly difficult to persuade players to stay if the cap goes down.

“I can’t see that happening, but it will be mayhem if it does,” Lam said.

“I know for certain that the NRL clubs are looking more and more to take the best young players in this country.

“The other consideration is that there is going to be a serious recession at some stage, if not now in the future, and I get that. But we have to keep in mind that the NRL are buying the players from here and the market of young players going overseas is growing. We’ll lose them and that will hurt the game here, and we need to protect the future of British Rugby League and of Super League.

“For that reason alone I hope they don’t go down that route. They have the money to poach the young ones. Our club has already lost three young ones to Canberra in Ryan Sutton, George Williams and John Bateman, and I’m afraid that’s the beginning of what’s to come across the competition. We have some great young talent, but if we go in one direction while the NRL go in another with their salary cap, it will become a regular stream of talent going over there.”