Cut the cap for chance to bring in league stars from Down Under, says Peacock

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Leeds Rhinos legend Jamie Peacock believes Super League clubs should be allowed to splash out on “superstar” signings.

The defending Super League champions already have a wealth of stellar names in their ranks, but the Rugby Football League are currently in talks with clubs about restructuring the game.

Peacock advocates the return of relegation and promotion to the sport, and also believes top-flight clubs should see their salary cap reduced from £1.8m to £1.5m.

Clubs would then be allowed to arrange lucrative contracts with two marque signings – which would not be covered by the salary cap – in an effort to bring back star names like Sam Burgess from Australia’s NRL, and attract some of that league’s top names to England.

The RFL have held meetings with Super League and Championship clubs over the last 10 days outlining league restructuring options.

Consultation will continue throughout the summer before any recommendations are voted on later in the year, although changes can only be made after the 2014 season following the expiry of the current licence terms.

“I think it’s great something is being done, something needs to change,” said Peacock. “It needs to be ironed out, it doesn’t need to be too complicated, but things do need to change.

“The salary cap could even come down in the competition. If we brought it down to £1.5m then, if we had 12 teams, they would all spend to that and then we could have some exceptions, two ‘superstars’ who are outside the cap.

“That, for me, would stop average players getting more money than they deserve and would bring stars back into the competition.

“You would have a shot at bringing back Sam Burgess, or bringing an NRL player over, someone who is going to add real quality to the competition rather than giving more money to people who probably don’t deserve it.”

The RFL have put forward three proposals, which would help bridge the issue of promotion and relegation between Super League and the Championship:

Option 1: Super League reverts to a 12-team competition and a 10- or 12-team Championship with one club promoted/relegated between the two divisions each year;

Option 2: A two-division Super League with each division comprising 10 teams;

Option 3: A 12-team Tier One competition and 12-team Tier Two competition that splits into three groups of eight in mid-season.

“I think promotion and relegation is a good thing,” said Peacock. “I think it’s important that teams at the bottom of the table have something to play for in every game.

“That was something which was probably overlooked when they did the licensing. It’s been good. We have got new grounds, which is great, but now we need to move on and make sure more clubs have something to play for.”

The Super League champions today turn their attentions to another piece of silverware in the Challenge Cup and a fifth-round tie at Huddersfield Giants.

“Saturday is a big game, it’s a different competition and everything is on the line. I am looking forward to it,” said Peacock.

“We could have had an easier game than Huddersfield, but you have to beat the best to win the Challenge Cup.”

richard.hercock@ypn.co.uk

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