Australian rugby
NRL considers plan to bring back Folau
ESPN Staff
July 21, 2013
Australia's Israel Folau claims a high ball in training, ANZ Stadium, Sydney, July 5, 2013
Israel Folau could become a marquee man in the NRL © Getty Images

Israel Folau's long-term rugby future may be in doubt, with the National Rugby League (NRL) reportedly considering changing its rules to allow clubs to recruit marquee players outside of the salary cap.

As revealed in the The Sunday Telegraph, the NRL's chief operating officer Jim Doyle says the salary cap change must be considered - along with other changes - in order for the code to retain its top players.

"We will consider everything," Doyle told The Sunday Telegraph. "The salary cap has to be modernised. We all agree on that. It is designed to keep a level playing field and stop clubs from going broke. But we have to make sure something is in place to ensure we keep our best players."

Folau was spotted with outgoing Bulldogs CEO Todd Greenburg at last Wednesday night's State of Origin decider in Sydney, sparking speculation the NRL club may be preparing to make a play for the Wallabies star should the salary cap laws change.

The marquee player allowance has been a success in Australia's A-League football competition, allowing clubs to boost ticket revenue and sponsorship by bringing overseas stars to Australia.

If introduced, a marquee player allowance would allow cashed-up clubs such as the Bulldogs to table an offer of more than $1 million per season for players such as Folau, whose contract with the Australian Rugby Union is due to expire in December this year.

The NRL has previously resisted marquee player signings because it favoured the richer clubs, however there is believed to be growing support for the change in code's corridors of power.

© ESPN Australia / New Zealand

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