The loan system would potentially help struggling teams get out of messy salary cap situations. An example would have been Josh Reynolds at the Tigers in recent years. The joint venture was paying around $ 800,000 to play on the reserve and no other club was willing to take on his contract.
If he had been available for loan, it would have benefited Reynolds by allowing him to play as a freshman at a rival club, who would only pay the portion of his salary that they use. Former Bulldogs coach Dean Pay wanted Reynolds to join the club, but the board were reluctant to commit given his long and lucrative contract.
Four-week loan would have given the Bulldogs the opportunity to effectively use Reynolds on a trial basis
before deciding whether it would be worth signing a long-term agreement. It would also have given the Tigers the option of putting a player they didn’t want to keep in the showcase, with the clubs unwilling to take a punt on a player stuck in the reserve.
Bulldogs mainstay Jack Hetherington was loaned by Penrith to the Warriors for eight weeks last year. This saved Penrith around $ 35,000 on the salary cap as the Warriors footed the bill for his two-month stint with the club.
Some would argue that if Hetherington hadn’t been able to play in the NRL, he might not have landed a contract with Canterbury for the following year.
The same can be said of Poasa Faamausili, whom the Roosters loaned to the Warriors before the mainstay managed to land a contract with St George Illawarra for 2022. The Dragons could also benefit given the uncertainty surrounding Jack de Belin, with a loan model allowing them to sign a player on a temporary basis until Belin’s case is resolved in court.
A loan system would also work in the case of Brent Naden, who plays in the reserve category because he can’t see past Stephen Crichton, Matt Burton and Paul Momirovski at the Panthers.
Penrith is reluctant to release him from the final year of his contract in case they get injured and need his services in the Finals, but a loan system would allow Naden to return when or if the Panthers needed him.
One of the considerations is to make sure that clubs don’t manipulate it to bolster their rosters for the finals when the teams are not in contention.
Discussions about a deadline have been raised, 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 a suspension or injury.
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