It has been a dirty word for 20 years now but the time is right for rugby league to introduce a draft.
The game's fans cannot accept or digest players leaving for rival clubs with still a year to run on their contracts.
It is a bad look for our game and something needs to change.
I think rookies should be given the chance to be graded into their local NRL club before entering a draft at age 21.
Every young player dreams of playing for their local club so we shouldn't rob them or the clubs of that opportunity.
But, after 21, if they can't or won't be re-signed, then they should enter an internal draft.
It is the only way we can stop players signing contracts a year out from their current deal expiring.
James Maloney signed with the Roosters 18 months before he can actually pull on the red, white and blue. That is ridiculous.
Scott announced he was off to Newcastle a fortnight ago and now we have
Souths forward Dave Taylor revealing he has signed a four-year deal
with Gold Coast from next season.
I feel for the kid at Souths who has just brought a Taylor jumper. Or the young Saints fan who adores Scott.
Look, it's not Taylor's fault or that of the Titans, just as it isn't Scott's issue or that of the Knights.
They are just acting within the rules of the game. Therein lies the problem.
announcing a draft, the independent commission should then assess the
pool and grade each player so the team that finished last has first
choice for the following season.
Rugby league has changed dramatically since 1991 when the draft was kicked out by the High Court.
have increased significantly and players are now more accepting of
having to move interstate or overseas to play top-level rugby league.
They do it for the money and opportunity.
The commission must get the Players Association and player agents on side to avoid any real hurdles.
I guess there is no perfect system but a draft is clean and more accepting for fans.
I hate seeing the papers full of stories about player signings for 2013 - given we are only three rounds into 2012.
Other sports around the world have successfully implemented a draft.
often in the past rugby league has baulked at the tough decisions. But
the commission has already rejected the McIntyre system - a sign they
are prepared to make the hard calls.
Let's see if they have the courage to introduce a draft.I think they should.