I find the current campaigns to get players who not just “ratted” on our game but were paid to undermine in, back into the NRL with open arms offensive.
The most recent surrounded Israel Folau, with current and formers players demanding the NRL bend the salary cap rules, or totally abandon them, to allow him back into the game.
Today the increasingly desperate, and discredited, Brisbane Broncos have laid interest in signing up another turncoat, Karmichael Hunt for the 2014 season.
There are readers who probably ask – “Karmichael who???” given that his record with the Gold Coast Suns AFL team has been wholly underwhelming!
I just find it galling that two former league players, who signed up to contracts massively above their worth, are being welcomed back with open arms.
And we need to remember they were paid much more than they were worth to try and undermine rugby league in Western Sydney and on the Gold Coast.
And when they took the AFL ransom they knew exactly that was why they were getting a high premium.
Their circumstances are wholly different to those of players such as Matt Rogers or even Wendell Sailor. Their switch to rugby union was not accompanied by massive campaigns directly targeting rugby league.
Of course they were used in promotional material.
But it was insignificant when compared with the over the top nonsense the ALF indulged in when Folau and Hunt were signed – to coincide with the setting up of AFL teams in Western Sydney and on the Gold Coast.
They allowed themselves to be used to try and undermine rugby league – and were well paid to do so.
Both experiments failed miserably. The AFL tipped millions of folding down the sewer to try and take television audience numbers, sponsors, and fans from our game.
That it has been a failure does not exonerate Folau or Hunt.
Izzy switched to union this year and he did well. He should be encouraged to stay there!
Karmichael Hunt has been stuck in the AFL……and has bombed out comprehensively. I am profoundly disappointed that desperate coaches, and former players with little else to write about, are verily begging the NRL to invite them back.
And to bend the salary cap rules if need to be accommodate them.
If there is to be any bending of the salary cap rules then it ought to be to enable current, long serving and loyal NRL players see out their careers in the greatest game of all, and in the greatest competition of all.
I have lost count of how many good players will be off to the UK Super League at the end of this season – some because they simply cannot be catered for under the current salary cap.
It would be bad enough if Folau and Hunt were waved through the gate back into the NRL.
It would be so much worse if there were salary cap concessions to enable them to do.
Lets reward loyalty. Lets look after our “own”!!