The NRL yesterday refused to register Greg Inglis’s contract with the South Sydney Rabbitohs because of concerns over a number of third-party sponsorship deals.
The Rabbitohs are now scrambling to free up space in their salary cap and have told Beau Champion, Ben Lowe and Michael Crocker that they will be released from the final year of their contracts should they be able to find a deal elsewhere.
The NRL wants Inglis to come under the cap at no less than $500,000 in a move that will force Souths to offload $310,000 worth of playing talent from its roster should they wish to have the Test star playing for them in 2011.
The North Queensland Cowboys, Parramatta Eels and Melbourne Storm are understood to be the only clubs with money left to sign any of the Rabbitohs players.
For weeks now there have been rumours that Champion was already on his way to the Eels and no doubt this latest news will intensify the rumours. But with the Eels recent signings of Paul Whatuira and Chris Hicks, they may not be in the market for a centre any longer.
The Cowboys on the other hand have lost Brent Tate for 2011 due to injury and could use a centre of Champion’s calibre but Townsville is a long way from Redfern and it remains to be seen if Champion is eager to move, especially that far.
Champion’s manager Sam Ayoub yesterday said his client would consider leaving the club if he could find a suitable deal.