CAMPBELLTOWN, NEW SOUTH WALES - AUGUST 11: Wests Tigers NRL coach Ivan Cleary speaks to the media during a press conference at Wests Leagues Club on August 11, 2018 in Campbelltown, Australia. (Photo by Brook Mitchell/Getty Images)

A new proposal which could potentially be launched by the NRL will see coaches facing suspensions for signing with rival clubs if there is more than a year left to run on their original contracts.

According to the Daily Telegraph, the new rules will be discussed in a meeting of NRL chief executives in Sydney on Tuesday morning in a bid to put a stop to the end-of-season coaching merry-go-round which occurred at the end of 2018.

Ivan Cleary signed on at Penrith despite still having two more years left on his contract with the Wests Tigers, reuniting with his son Nathan Cleary.

South Sydney coach Anthony Seibold put pen to paper at the Brisbane Broncos for the 2020 season, instigating a future swap with current Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett.

Currently in discussion, the new proposal sees that coaches will not be allowed to sign on at a other clubs with more than a year before coming off-contract.

If they do, coaches will then be facing suspensions for impeaching the rules, with the clubs too facing huge fines.

Under the current NRL rules, players seeking a club switch cannot be formally signed or registered until they come inside the final year of their existing contract which occurs from November 1 each year.

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The proposed rule changes will see the same guidelines be applied to coaches signing under that same deadline.

The NRL CEO’s meeting is an attempt to put an end to the constant coaching merry-go-round which no doubt frustrated many fans and tarnished the game of rugby league.


  1. Great idea..this new rule should be named after the instigator…..”The Ivan Cleary (i’ve got your back) rule”.

  2. Well its consistency NRL fans want, so if they are going to introduce this dumb new rule then they must enforce the clubs not to sack coaches until their contract expires. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander 🦆🦆

  3. But Siebold and Bennet still would’ve happened since they were off contract post-2019. And how are we gonna know if the club sacked them or if they just signed with another team?

  4. Everyone seemed to know that Seibold was going to Brisbane , way before November. So he must have signed before the one year to go date.
    Just wonder how it’s going to stop any agreements being reached, with more than a year to go ? They don’t need a signed written contract to come to some agreement. The same with the players.
    If a player or coach really wanted to go early? Enough negative comments about their current club, may well get them an early release.

    • The one year to go date is for players only at this stage, not for coaches (lets not forget your Panthers signed Cleary with 2 years to go). As it stands no club has broken any rules when it comes to coaches. There may have been some perceived unethical goings on, but nothing explicitly against the rules, which is what the NRL are trying to address.

      As for not being able to stop agreements being reached without signatures, that may be true, but there are financial punishments that come with negotiating with a player before clubs are allowed to, and I assume the same will apply with coaches. So, if a club is caught negotiating a player/coach, maybe the NRL can’t actually stop it, but they can impose punishments for it.

  5. Here’s a revolutionary idea to end the “coaching-merry-go-round”. How about ALL parties, clubs, coaches and players honour the terms of their contracts? How does THAT sound?

  6. I was fully aware that Penrith had not broken any rules Eels . When they approached Cleary. Had said so on here when virtually the same story had been run many times before.
    I was just noting that Brisbane had done the same thing with Seibold. That they had negotiated with him before he had just a year left . Yet all the fuss was made about Cleary.
    I see teams clearly negotiating with players , before they have just 1 year left on a contract. How can Newcastle negotiate with Klemmer or the Bulldogs sign Harawirra-Naera? Of course the players were most likely given permission to look elsewhere by their clubs. Or said they’d like to leave & then given permission ? No penalty for the players .
    So theres no policing of any tampering & penalties for it never happen .

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