The Billion Dollar Game Should Make An Effort To Attract And Keep The Best In The World

There are no excuses any more…

With the NRL raking in around $300 million per season, and putting $40 million in the bank for future projects every year, there are no excuses for Rugby League to lose a single player to any other sporting code.

Likewise, there is no reason why the NRL should have to sit back and admire talent in Rugby Union with envy, especially when the players the game covets are usually former League players themselves.

Israel Folau is currently lighting it up for the Australian Rugby Union team. There would not be a single Rugby League supporter that doesn’t want to see Folau back playing Rugby League.

Money is no longer an issue. Rugby League has the money. So the question is, does the NRL want to showcase the best of the best, or is close enough good enough?

In the past Rugby League has had to remain cautious when it comes to player payments. Put simply, the sport was run on a tight budget and there really wasn’t any money available to start to think outside the box in terms of recruiting players from outside of the sport.

The return of Sonny Bill Williams has no doubt added something to the NRL. When you consider that Sonny Bill Williams will play for the highest bidder, no matter who they are, there simply should be no opportunity for any other sport to even get a look in when Williams comes off contract.

The NRL should be going out of its way to make sure it locks up stars like Williams and Israel Folau. There should be no worry about signing someone like Quade Cooper because the game can afford it many times over.

We shouldn’t have to worry that Benji Marshall might switch codes at 28. Rugby League should be going out of its way to make sure that any player who is an asset in terms of playing ability or marketing always sticks with the NRL.

The New Zealand Warriors are reportedly spending around $1 million per season to get current Wigan fullback Sam Tomkins for the 2014 season. That probably sounds like a lot of money, but in the grand scheme of things it is a drop in the ocean.

As a Rugby League fan I want to see the game aggressively going out and and buying the best of the best. Rugby League or Rugby Union players, I don’t care. I just want to know that every time I switch an NRL game on that I am watching the best players in the world.

It wouldn’t take much for the NRL to go on an aggressive player recruitment drive and buy pretty much any talented Super League player, French Rugby League player, and Rugby Union player it wanted. Buy the stars, get them on NRL fields and lets us see what they can do.

The money is there! The NRL is no longer run on a tight budget. There is no reason at all why we should not be watching the best of the best every week.

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