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Raiders want ‘SBW rule’ in place for rivals as Chooks splash cash

Canberra chief executive Don Furner who, along with Roosters chairman Nick Politis is one of the game’s longest-serving administrators, hoped the ‘SBW rule’ would also be in place for the other 15 clubs moving forward.

The Green Machine have plenty of experience footing similar relocation bills for their large English contingent, as well as Queenslanders and New Zealanders. They were once denied flying two of their English stars business class.

“The reasonableness test was always tough, but it sounds like it is being loosened,” Furner told the Herald on Tuesday night.

“If that’s the way they want to go, that’s fine, but as long as it applies to every other club.

“That actually opens the floodgates because the figure for clubs has always been capped at $10,000. If a player comes from England, you could spend up to $10,000, and it was up to the club if you spend that money on flights, accommodation or even removalists.

“It was never a written rule, it was the unspoken rule, and that figure was always what was considered reasonable.

“But happy days – if that’s the new reasonableness test, that’s great. At least we know now.”

Furner did not have an issue with the Roosters, instead the governing body creating another policy on the run.

Once the Toronto Wolfpack withdrew from the Super League because of financial difficulties and whispers about Williams returning to the Roosters began, so too did the scepticism from clubland about how on earth the defending premiers could afford him.

The Roosters tried to register Williams’ latest deal at $120,000 for the remainder of the season. The NRL rejected that value, and a contract worth $150,000 was agreed to by all parties.

ARL Commission chairman Peter V’Landys came under fire for wanting to bend the rules that prohibited players from holding two contracts at once. V’Landys later admitted: “You’ve got to judge everything on its merits and on the circumstances and it can’t be just a catch-all sort of thing.”

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When Williams’ Toronto teammate Ricky Leutele was banned from also returning to the NRL over the weekend there were cries of double standards, only for the NRL to back down and allow Melbourne to sign the outside back at a cut price.

A photo of Williams sitting in his apartment and playing Uno with his children – cards and toys that were provided by Politis over the weekend – appeared on the front page of News Limited newspapers on Monday. For the record, a couple of hundred dollars worth of gifts do not have to be included in the cap.

Canterbury had Luke Thompson isolate in Melbourne for a fortnight in June when the Federal Government was still paying for overseas travellers’ mandatory quarantine. The Dogs, however, paid for meals and gym equipment shipped into Thompson’s hotel.

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