NRL clubs sign bumper pay packet deal

England's Sam Burgess during a training session at South Leeds Stadium chased by ex-Saint James Graham. Both players are expected to benefit from the new NRL deal
England's Sam Burgess during a training session at South Leeds Stadium chased by ex-Saint James Graham. Both players are expected to benefit from the new NRL deal

Saints’ players - and those from other Betfred Super League clubs - can only look on in envy as the NRL’s five-year collective bargaining agreement is reached.

Bullet points include:

* Next year’s salary cap will be set at $9.4 million and rise to $10 million for the first time in 2022.

* The players collect a 52 per cent pay rise with 29.5 per cent of projected revenue resulting in $980 million income over the life of the agreement.

* The salary cap will now be split across the top 30 players in each squad, with the average income to be $330,000 and the minimum at $100,000.

* The NRL will have access to players’ private records in the most serious of integrity matters.

* Players will have a bigger say on matters of integrity throughout the game.

* An injury hardship fund will be available to those forced into premature retirement, replacing the career-ending injury insurance scheme.

* Players will be given more time off during the week to pursue professional and personel development outside the sport.