NRL 2021: Transfer Loan System, Harry Grant, Paul Momirovski, Storm, Tigers, Warriors, Jack Hetherington


The NRL plans to introduce a player loan scheme in time for the 2023 season, after discussing the plan with the clubs at the GMs conference last week.

The NRL plans to introduce a player loan scheme in time for the 2023 season, after discussing the plan with the clubs at the GMs conference last week.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the concept, which has preliminary support from the RLPA, would allow players to quit their squads mid-season to enjoy more playing time at rival clubs.

The loan system would be similar to how the Warriors were allowed to use rival club players in the pandemic-affected 2020 season.

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The NRL granted exemptions for teams to loan players to the Warriors last season, but have not sued the system this season after the New Zealand side and their families moved to the Central Coast.

The NRL contracts committee has been working on a plan for a loan scheme that could revolutionize the player transfer market.

Essentially, the concept is designed to allow fringe first-year players to play in the NRL, but it would also reward clubs that develop players.

The Panthers could have potentially used this system to allow the Bulldogs to sign Matt Burton to play for a rival club this season in the hopes of keeping him at Penrith for the long haul.

The Broncos let rookie full-back Reece Walsh join the Warriors, but under the proposed loan scheme they could have given the youngster a taste of the freshman at an NRL rival in 2021, before he bring back to Red Hill.


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One of the main considerations for the NRL in using this system is the time it takes for a fight club to overcome poor recruiting and retention decisions.

It is hoped that the loan scheme could potentially help struggling teams resolve salary cap issues caused by inflated contracts for underperforming stars.

For example, the Tigers are currently paying a lot of money for Russell Packer despite his lack of a freshman in recent seasons.

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Had he been available for loan, it would have benefited the Packer player by allowing him to play as a freshman on a rival team, which would only pay the portion of his salary that they use.

It would also have given the Tigers the opportunity to put a player they didn’t want to keep in the showcase, with clubs reluctant to prosecute players who don’t play regularly in their first year.

Bulldogs mainstay Jack Hetherington was on loan from then club the Panthers to the Warriors for eight weeks in 2020 and was able to strike a deal with Canterbury at the back of it.

Meanwhile, it saved Penrith around $ 35,000 on the salary cap, with the Warriors footing the bill for his two-month stint with the club.

The Dragons’ situation with Jack de Belin could also be appeased with a loan system allowing them to sign a player from a rival club until the case is resolved in court.

The Sea Eagles could have done the same to resolve a prostitute crisis following the Manase Fainu legal process.

However, one of the considerations is to ensure that clubs do not exploit the loan system to bolster their rosters for the finals when some teams are out of the race.

To avoid this, a possible deadline could be introduced, while there is also an argument that clubs should only be able to loan players if they have no other options within their squads due to ‘suspension or injury.

Originally published as NRL envisions mid-season loan scheme to revolutionize player transfer market

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