Clubs are rallying for changes to be made to the rostering system so it is easier for development platers to transition into the first-grade.
The new top 30 system, which was introduced this year, is set to come under review on Tuesday by head office and the Rugby League Players’ Association.
But clubs are pushing for development players to be a part of their squads which would effectively give them 36 players to choose from.
Canterbury playmaker Lachlan Lewis was held back from making his NRL debut until the club underwent several mid-season changes to their list.
And the 22-year old believes it was a hard scenario to come into where he was not eligible to be selected in the first-grade.
“It’s tough because one year into my two-and-a-half year contract they said ‘you’re actually not in the top 30 and you actually won’t be able to play NRL’, they tap you on the shoulder and say if you want to go somewhere else you can,” Lewis told The Sydney Morning Herald.
“So going into pre-season knowing that you’re most likely not going to be able to play because of the whole [top] 30 saga and no matter what happens it all comes down to how many dollars you’re on – it was a bit of a blessing when they started to say ‘we might be able to get you in the comp because you trained hard enough and you work hard’.
“That’s all I wanted, that opportunity.”
Lewis added that the union meetings with the RLPA were tricky negotiations.
“Because they’re trying to look after the developed NRL players and make sure that everyone has their job security. And also there’s the up-and-comer who’s on the extended playing [squad], training every day but still got NRL blessing.
“I wouldn’t say it’s flawed, but it’s a bit of life I guess.”
One idea for a the potential new system being floated is having six development players be eligible for first-grade after June 30. Another suggestion is having a second-tier salary cap.
Comparatively, others are arguing that most teams don’t use all 30 players, therefore should be subjected to their originally chosen squads.
“It’s a great initiative to bring everyone together to reflect on their experiences to date on the new contracting model,” RLPA chief operating officer Tim Lythe told The Sydney Morning Herald.