Super League clubs agree to increase salary cap over next three years

Wigan celebrate
Wigan are the reigning Super League champions after they beat Warrington in the Grand Final

Super League clubs have backed a new structure to raise the salary cap from £1.825m to £2.1m by 2020.

The 12 teams will be able to spend £1.9m next year, £2m in 2019 and then £2.1m in 2020.

There has also been an agreement reached that clubs can have two marquee players - up from one - with exemptions for new or returning players as well as some under the age of 21.

The Rugby Football League board will vote on the proposals on Thursday.

"The clubs asked the Rugby Football League to put forward a set of proposals that would help them retain and attract the best players to the competition," said Super League executive director Roger Draper.

"We believe that when you consider all of them together, these changes could make a significant difference to helping clubs attract and retain the best talent in this league and that is something we all are determined to do."

It is below the Australian National Rugby League cap of £4.25m for 2017, while, in rugby union, the English Premiership cap is £7m.

What does it mean?

Marquee players

  • A club is allowed to nominate two marquee players in their salary cap who have to be paid more than £175,000.
  • If that player has been trained by the club only £75,000 of their salary contributes towards the cap, while anyone outside of that would be a £150,000 contribution.

New and returning players

  • A club is also entitled to register two players in their squad that can either be new to, or wanting to return to, the sport.
  • For a new talent pool player - someone who has never played rugby league - their wage will not count towards the cap in their first season and then 50% from their second.
  • For a returning talent pool player, for example someone returning from rugby union, they must not have played rugby league for five years and in the first season their wage contributes only 50% towards the cap and 75% in a second season.


Wigan Warriors owner Ian Lenagan: "We need the best players playing in our competition and when all of the proposals that were voted through are looked at together, the decisions that were made will provide Super League clubs the opportunity to do that."

Warrington Wolves owner Simon Moran: "If you want the competition to flourish going forward, it is very important that the best talent is kept in our league.

"I thought it was very important that the salary cap did go up and the opportunity is now there with two marquee players available to clubs to bring and retain some of the best talent in the world."

Salford Red Devils owner Marwan Koukash: "I think the decisions that were made are good for the sport and good for the competition and I am delighted with this outcome.

"We need to provide fans with the best entertainment and talent on the field and the decisions give us the opportunity to do that."

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