6 May 2010

Lockyer says salary cap delays could hurt league

9:07 am on 6 May 2010

The Australian league captain Darren Lockyer has implored the NRL to take immediate action to protect the game's top stars from being poached by rival codes.

Lockyer fears the two and a half year gap between now and the next television rights deal - and its resultant financial certainty - leaves the game wide open to poaching.

With Brisbane teammate Israel Folau seemingly poised to sign with rugby's new Super 15 franchise Melbourne Rebels and rugby union and AFL clubs circling over the Melbourne Storm playing roster, Lockyer says it's time to act now.

The new television deal, with negotiations between broadcasters and the NRL set to start later this year, won't kick in until the 2013 season.