RFL relaxes minimum salary rule

The minimum salary for Super League players has been scrapped as clubs prepare to use young talent after the pandemic.

The RFL operational rule B1:21 states that is a requirement in Super League for a player to earn £15,000 to play in a salary cap relevant match.

However, that has now been removed from the rules for the remainder of the season due to the financial implications it would have on clubs set to delve deep into their playing roster once the action resumes.

With clubs facing the real prospect of short turnarounds on a regular basis for the remainder of the season, it is expected that young, unproven talent will be used across Super League as coaches rotate their squads to minimise the risk of injury and fatigue.

However, it was noted that some clubs might be restricted due to the financial impact, with many Academy players earning sub-five-figure salaries.

That would leave clubs reluctant, and in some cases, unable to field their youngest players due to the financial cost.

It now means teenagers earning as little as £5,000 a year could now go toe-to-toe with the likes of Sonny Bill Williams, who was reportedly earning £50,000 a week before pay cuts were introduced.

The RFL has stressed to clubs the perception that will come with fielding youngsters earning such salaries and there have been calls for appearance fees and win bonuses to be included to reward Academy players for their efforts, given they are set to miss out on significant pay rises.

However, the decision has also presented many young players with the prospect of a Super League debut later this year, with a new wave of talent now set to be introduced onto the big stage.