Leigh Centurions head coach Adrian Lam wants the Rugby Football League to review their policies when it comes to the poaching of players from the Championship by Super League teams.
Earlier this month, the Centurions signed forward Kai O’Donnell from NRL club Cronulla Sharks with a contract until the end of 2022.
As it stands, a Super League club could come in for O’Donnell at any given time. If they were to pay his contract up, they could then take the forward away from Leigh. Lam thinks that needs to change.
“I am working out very quickly that it’s a tough job to be in the Championship and be in a position where you’re pushing hard to get promoted to Super League,” Lam said.
“The loopholes around it don’t protect the club or team from holding the player that you bring in.
“We might bring in a Kai O’Donnell and pay the costs of the [air] fares, visas and all that sort of stuff and then all of a sudden, a Super League club comes in after three or four weeks wanting to take him off us.”
Relegated down from the top-flight last term, Lam himself joined Leigh with the task of promotion at the first time of asking.
It’s the first time that the Papua New Guinean has operated in the Championship. His side face London Broncos at the Leigh Sports Village this weekend.
Protection on investment
Speaking prior to that game, his views on the rulings surrounding players signing are clear as he continued: “When you’ve done all the hard work, I don’t think it’s fair.
“Clubs in the Championship are investing in an athlete, and that should be protected a little bit. For the owners of the club and for the investment and what they put in, it should be.
“I think there’s some area outside of the RFL that could work hard on that. There’s a lot of other areas that I’ll probably go into a little bit more as the season goes on.
“I can see where the grey areas are in this particular business. I’m really enjoying it here at the moment and I’m looking forward to the challenge on Sunday.”