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NRL Salary cap change works for Ennis

Canterbury captain Michael Ennis has renewed hope of seeing out his career at the Bulldogs, after the NRL announced an increase in the salary cap for veteran players.
NRL Salary cap change works for Ennis
by AAP

By Ben Horne

SYDNEY, May 8 AAP - Canterbury captain Michael Ennis has renewed hope of seeing out his career at the Bulldogs, after the NRL announced an increase in the salary cap for veteran players.

The allowance will jump by up to 50 per cent on a sliding scale over the next two years, and will now apply to players serving six seasons with a club - as opposed to the previous mark of eight.

Ennis shapes as potentially the biggest winner from the changes, given 2014 is his sixth year in blue and white and he's so far held off on inking a new deal.

Canterbury have signed boom Cronulla hooker Michael Lichaa, placing Ennis' future under a cloud.

The 30-year-old rake wants a three-to-four year contract knowing that it could be his last and reports have speculated that the Sharks are sweating on Ennis as their replacement for Lichaa.

However, when asked on Thursday if he was confident of staying at Belmore, Ennis said: "Oh yeah", before praising the NRL for making it easier for experienced players to remain loyal.

"Credit to the NRL to try and look after players who have served the game for long periods of time," Ennis said.

"It's a positive step and good to see the people in control trying to take the game further and improve it.

"Oh yeah (I'm confident). I'll let my manager look after that situation and I'll continue to keep playing footy."

The allowance increase will be on a sliding scale, with a maximum of $250,000 per club in 2015 and $300,000 in 2016.

The changes were seemingly too late for Manly and Glenn Stewart, with the 12-season Sea Eagle last month signing a new deal with South Sydney because there was no room for him at Brookvale.

Canterbury lock Greg Eastwood said players had welcomed the changes as a chance to keep skipper Ennis at the Bulldogs.

"Especially for our captain Mick, not having that money to keep him at the club. He's our captain and our leader and he's shown that every week since he's been here. If we can keep him here with that bit of extra cash it's important for the NRL," he said.

Ennis has said previously that with Lichaa coming on board, he would have to talk to Bulldogs coach Des Hasler about what his role in the team would likely be.

The competitive No.9 has indicated he isn't quite ready to relinquish a starting berth and still sees himself as an 80-minute player.

In fact Ennis still hopes to be on Laurie Daley's radar for a NSW State of Origin recall this year should incumbent Robbie Farah continue to battle injury problems.

"I'm not sure what the situation is there but I'll continue to try and be consistent here," he said.


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