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Thread: Cashed up English clubs eye Kiwi talent

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    Immortal Contributor The InnFORCEr's Avatar
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    Cashed up English clubs eye Kiwi talent

    MARC HINTON
    Last updated 13:14 16/09/2014



    New Zealand rugby supremos are bracing for a renewed assault on Kiwi talent from cashed up English clubs armed with increased spending power via a salary cap overhaul.

    English Premiership clubs are set to receive an extra 500,000 (NZ$1 million) on their salary caps for the upcoming season, with the overall maximum wage figure rising to 5.5m (NZ$11m) - equating to an increase of 1m (NZ$2m) over the last two seasons.

    But, more poignantly, the clubs are also to be granted a second "marquee player" exception whose wages will fall outside the cap. This is particularly relevant because new rules dictate this second excluded player must come from outside the Premiership.

    In other words, leading rugby players from New Zealand, Australia and South Africa are going to be targeted as the English clubs continue to increase their spending power on the back of an improved TV deal via BT Sport.

    The Premiership clubs will still not have the extravagant wage bills of the cap-free French Top 14 outfits or even the mega-rich Japanese company-based teams, but the second exception is notable in that it will now allow the more resourced to go hard after high-profile names.

    There is expected to be an exodus of experienced New Zealand talent after the 2015 World Cup with a number of veteran All Blacks likely to look to wind up their careers with stints offshore.

    But senior players just outside the World Cup reckoning could also be tempted to jump ship early, beating the glut of world-class operators usually available the season after the global tournament.

    Reports from the UK indicate Wallabies halfback Will Genia has already agreed to a big-money deal with Bath, while it's thought fellow marginalised internationals Quade Cooper and Kurtley Beale are also considering their options up in that part of the world.

    For New Zealand Rugby boss Steve Tew nothing changes. Ever since he's been in the job he's faced stiff competition to retain his premium talent, and cashed up England clubs queueing up alongside the French, Japanese, Irish and Welsh doesn't alter his challenge too much.

    So far - thanks to the inspired mandate not to select All Blacks from offshore, and some crucial sponsorship income - he's largely winning that battle. But he's consistent with a message that the national union must continue to stay vigilant and take nothing for granted in terms of the competition for assets.

    New Zealand Rugby Players Association chief Rob Nichol said his organisation was always concerned over the raiding of talent and potential imbalances in global competitions, but pointed out the NZRU had done a fine job of retaining top-level talent thus far.

    "There's a lot of money pouring into the game up there, and it's the same old, same old really. Our players are always going to be targeted," he said.

    Nichol said the challenge for the New Zealand game was to continue to create the "most compelling environment" possible for players looking to stay and ply their trades here, and that's what they would continue to do.

    He also felt there was a strong onus on the provinces, and to a lesser extent franchises, to acknowledge the global situation and play their part in keeping as many New Zealand players in this country as they could.

    The reality is some players will always be lost as they look to maximise their earnings. Cashed up English clubs merely offer a reminder that the threat to the All Blacks comes not just on the field, but off it.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/a...ye-Kiwi-talent

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    Legend Contributor Alison's Avatar
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    Saw another news article from the UK this morning saying that Bath are likely to redouble efforts to sign sooky la la Genia under the new rules.

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    Immortal Contributor The InnFORCEr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alison View Post
    Saw another news article from the UK this morning saying that Bath are likely to redouble efforts to sign sooky la la Genia under the new rules.
    They better have a catchy team song first

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    Veteran Sheikh's Avatar
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    Ironically (or not) the reason being given for the increase in salary cap is to prevent the exodus of talent out of England. England only consider foreign-based players in exceptional circumstances (eg, they don't pick Steffon Armitage, who was the POTY in France last season) and don't want their talent to flood to cashed-up French or Japanese teams.

    I'm not sure why they feel the need for a second marquee-player, they seem to have plenty of foreign-born players there anyway, but as there's only 12 Premiership clubs, that's an additional 12 players players from SANZAR who could be picked up. Are we sure that there's many Australians who'd be picked out of the top 12 SH players? (As long as they keep their hands off Hodgo!)

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