1 Aug 2013

Major salary cap review for NRL

7:30 am on 1 August 2013

The National Rugby League is set to undergo what it calls a "well overdue and comprehensive" review of its salary cap in moves they hope will keep Sydney Roosters superstar Sonny Bill Williams in the game - and help lure the likes of Wallabies star Israel Folau back to the code.

A key proposal is allowing a marquee player to be paid outside the traditional salary cap to help retain the game's biggest stars.

Former All Black and Kiwis star Williams, who rejoined the NRL this season after a stint in Super Rugby, is on a one-year deal with the Roosters and has yet to formally announce his plans beyond this season.

But NRL chief executive Dave Smith, who met with club chief executives on Wednesday to discuss the salary cap changes, says it is imperative to keep the game's biggest stars in league - and he believes the salary cap overhaul, which could take four months to complete, will do the trick.

Smith says the salary cap hasn't been reviewed for 15 years and the world's moved on, they're in a competitive market for players and want to make sure they do attract the likes of the Sonny Bills and the Folaus - and keeps them.

Smith says he wants to analyse the salary caps of the world's major sporting codes in a bid to find the best formula, and noted examples from European football which have already caught his eye.

He points out that the English Premier League doesn't have a cap at all on any player under 21 who is home grown, which he quites as a concept.

Smith also revealed the code would be looking closely at State of Origin scheduling to see if there was any way to lessen the impact the three-game series has on some of the most heavily represented clubs.