'Disgrace': NRL great slams system after Viliame Kikau fiasco

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·Sports Reporter
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Viliame Kikau (pictured) during Penrith Panthers training.
Viliame Kikau (pictured) has signed for the Bulldogs. (Getty Images)

The leaked photo of Viliame Kikau in a Bulldogs jersey has sparked a fierce debate in the NRL world with former Kangaroos forward Billy Moore calling for the introduction of a trade window.

Kikau is contracted to the Panthers for 2022 and, under the current NRL system, won't play for the Bulldogs for nearly 18 months.

However, this didn't stop a photo of Kikau wearing a Canterbury polo shirt doing the rounds on social media.

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This prompted Moore the current system around contracts as a 'disgrace' and called for a change to the sport.

"Anyone who looks into the fish bowl that is rugby league sees that contracts have become meaningless," Moore told AAP.

"I've been vocal about this for a long time and the system is a disgrace.

"The biggest losers are the fans and sponsors and the only person who benefits from it is the player's manager.

"There is no other sport in the world where people sign a contract the best part of a year in advance and then play out their current contract.

"It's a fallacy to say when the (contract's final) season ends you can't go find a new club and move your family if you need to."

Viliame Kikau image causes NRL shockwaves

The Bulldogs identified the source of the leaked photo, which they said was the matter a Canterbury League Club issue and the person not an employee of the NRL club.

Kikau's photo was meant to be released when he came under contract with Canterbury, not when his signing is officially announced at some point this week.

Regardless, ARL Commission chairman Peter V'landys conceded the system was not right on and said on Monday that the game would explore changes.

But any amendments are likely to be met by stiff opposition from the Rugby League Players' Association, who argue the situation is against the interests of their members.

Unfortunately, Kikau was met with some disgruntled fans at Penrith's NRL grand final winners parade.

And Moore thinks a transfer window, much like in other sports, could resolve the issue.

Viliame Kikau scores a try, which was disallowed during the 2021 NRL Grand Final.
Viliame Kikau scores a try, which was disallowed during the 2021 NRL Grand Final. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

"I'm a big fan of trading windows because it concentrates the energy around the movement of players, rather than it happening all year long," he said.

"On the Monday after the grand final the circus can start and clubs can begin trading and making deals for next season.

"You look at the AFL and the English Premier League and the amount of publicity they generate is extraordinary.

"Nobody's actually playing yet it gets all the column inches.

"Then I'd have one midway through the season, which allows for adjustments inside your roster to compensate for injuries."

with AAP

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