If Sam Burgess is forced to retire from a shoulder injury, it could leave the Rabbitohs with a $4 million hole in its salary cap, as reported by The Sydney Morning Herald.
The 30-year old was ruled out from the upcoming Great Britain Lions tour of New Zealand and Papua New Guinea due to his ongoing shoulder problem.
He went under the knife for his third shoulder shoulder surgery midway through this season.
It has raised queries about Burgess’ playing future, however, Souths officials are reportedly confident he will play on in 2020.
The club has accepted that he will hang up the boots before his contract expires in 2023.
Should Burgess prematurely retire, it could open as much as $1 million per season in dead salary cap weight.
The Bunnies would likely apply for a salary cap exemption, with league rules stating that medical retirement can only be awarded by the Salary Cap Auditor if an injury occurs during a player’s current contract.
The rules state:
- The Player had no similar injury or medical condition to that area of the body that either has or could reasonably be predicted medically to lead to a degenerative condition of that area of the body prior to signing his last NRL contract or if the players contract was signed more than 24 months previous within the last 24 months unless an unrelated single event has resulted in rapid deterioration of this condition; and
- A single event that caused the injury could be identified