The NRL have announced that players will be given a maximum 10 day “cooling off period” for any contract they sign under a new rule proposed by the organisation.
NRL Head of Football Todd Greenberg said the current rule, that was introduced to allow clubs until round 13 to retain players who have signed with a rival club, will be scrapped.
Instead, a contract signed with a rival club will be registered once a 10 business day cooling off period expires.
Greenberg said fans and clubs were frustrated with the “round 13” rule because it can create uncertainty and speculation for a long time after a contract has been signed.
“I think everyone agrees it is unseemly to have months of speculation about whether a player is going to a rival club,” said Greenberg.
“Our view is a 10 day cooling off period is an acceptable solution for all involved.”
The introduction of the new rule is subject to further consultation and approval from the Rugby League Players Association.
If approved, it will stipulate that:
- A player may sign an extension of his contract with his existing club at any time
- A player may sign with a new club only during the final year of his contract
- A 10 business day cooling off period will apply to all contracts
- A club signing a player is prohibited from making an announcement until the cooling off period has expired
Mr Greenberg stressed that the proposed new rule will be an interim measure pending the outcome of Shane Richardson’s “whole of game” review.