NRL US announces player plans

The NRL USA has announced its strategy for finding players for its inaugural season which is set to kick off in March next year.

The competition, which is expected to have eight teams, will be primarily made up of American players, many of whom currently play in the existing domestic competition, the AMNRL.

They are also hoping to attract players from other professional sports, but also collegiate athletes.

A salary cap style system and quota limit for non-US players will also be enforced, and there will be certain procedures for teams to follow in regards to signing, drafting and trading players.

Overseas players such as Brett Kimmorley have expressed interest in the American project, and although such big moves are unlikely in the short term, the league are open to players joining the league from abroad.

A statement said: “The NRL does not intend to enter a bidding war for international players, but would consider international players who are willing to play under the NRL USA‘s proposed compensation structure and whose presence would add value to the league.

“The League is committed to creating opportunities for United States athletes to play professional rugby league in America, to cultivating a popular group of players in their local markets, and to taking reasonable measures to ensure that teams are competitively balanced.”

“The NRL USA plans to hold tryouts that will be administered by the coaches, who will have been hired in
advance and employed by the NRL USA, and by executives of the League. The coaches will focus on
evaluating player talent while the League executives will assess character through personal interviews.”

“Some accommodations will be made to enable teams to draft players in their respective geographic
areas to capture local interest. The draft will also be used to stimulate interest in the League in
anticipation of the March 2010 kickoff.”

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