Finnigan to avoid quota restrictions


Bradford’s Simon Finnigan has succeeded in a test case, allowing him to be omitted from the club’s overseas quota for next season.nnThe Warrington-born second rower, 26, emigrated to Australia with his parents at four years of age. He joined Penrith Panthers in 2001, playing there for two years, before returning to England at 21 as his rugby league career developed.nnThe quota system will limit Super League clubs to a maximum of eight overseas players among their 25-man squads, with the idea to increase the number of players competing for international selection.nnFinnigan, formerly of Widnes and Salford, saw his Bradford career under threat after the RFL had originally deemed him unable to qualify for home-grown status.nnHowever, the test case – led by former Bradford chairman and current sports lawyer Chris Caisley – succeeded, and Finnigan now looks set to retain his place at Odsal and tie up a new contract with the club.nn”Simon is very pleased that following representations we made the RFL have decided that, henceforth, Simon will be treated no differently to a player who has been ‘federation-trained’,” Caisley said.nnPeter Hood, current chairman of Bradford, admitted he is in favour of the quota system, but was pleased commonsense had prevailed in this matter.nn”Whilst we support sensible moves that will enhance English rugby league on the international stage, Simon’s situation highlights the potential of the rules to discriminate unlawfully,” said Hood,nn”Had the board of the RFL not taken the enlightened stance they have and awarded Simon his exemption then we should have felt compelled to support him in seeking justice through the courts,” he added.