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Dragons fury over Tigers salary cap ruling

Tensions between St George Illawarra and Wests Tigers are set to rise once again after Dragons chief executive Peter Doust slammed the NRL's decision to allow Luke Brooks and Nathan Brown to play on Saturday.
Dragons fury over Tigers salary cap ruling
by AAP

By Ian McCullough

SYDNEY, Aug 22 AAP - Tensions between St George Illawarra and Wests Tigers are set to rise once again after Dragons chief executive Peter Doust slammed the NRL's decision to allow Luke Brooks and Nathan Brown to play on Saturday.

The Tigers were given permission to breach the second-tier salary cap by auditor Ian Schubert so the talented pair can make their debuts against the Dragons at the SCG.

Schubert granted the wish due to the Tigers' long injury list, and special circumstances were given because neither team can make the finals.

However, Doust, who is still upset with the Tigers' board following the collapsed move of Tim Moltzen to the Dragons in 2011, slammed the ruling in an extraordinary statement released on Thursday evening.

"The NRL formally advised the club of their endorsement of the Wests Tigers application to breach their second-tier salary cap by playing two NYC players," Doust said.

"The NRL advised that this is not the first breach by the Wests Tigers and the reasons given were due to their extremely high injury toll and less than anticipated success rate in the competition."

The statement said Schubert phoned Doust on Wednesday to discuss the merits of flexibility of the salary cap rules and he was positive about such steps being taken.

However, he feels it's unfair the Tigers have been given the green light to breach the cap when other clubs were unable to do so earlier this year.

"The Dragons have for a number of years been an advocate for flexibility with respect to certain rules of the salary cap ... and are pleased the management of the NRL are prepared to consider this in the move-forward sense," said Doust.

"However, we believe that any such discretion applied by the NRL needs to be appropriately and widely considered.

"We ourselves have been faced with similar circumstances throughout this year and have followed the rules of the salary cap and I will certainly be sharing these examples.

"I am also aware of other clubs who have also faced similar circumstances and have also complied with the rules as set out by the NRL."

"The Dragons have sought the meeting to seek further information surrounding this process as the club believes the application of such discretion has been ill-conceived.

"From what we can see, it's an issue of roster management, not injury management, and the fact that both teams are not in contention for the finals should not be a consideration.

"We have eight players on the sidelines ourselves and, from where we sit, the decision reached doesn't seem to be a very equitable.

"It is clearly too late in relation to this weekend as they have already made their determination to allow the Wests Tigers to breach the salary cap rules.

"But I would still have asked for a meeting even if it didn't impact our club this weekend as we definitely want clarity and definition for the future.

"We may even need to adjust our strategies in relation to recruitment and roster management moving forward off the back of a determination such as this."




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