AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JULY 22: Cameron Smith of the Storm looks on during the round 19 NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Melbourne Storm at Mt Smart Stadium on July 22, 2018 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)

The NRL is investigating potential extra earnings being made by Storm star Cameron Smith at a testimonial lunch, as reported by The Sydney Morning Herald.

The veteran skipper is undertaking the event to celebrate his career, with fans able to attend the event for a couple of hundred dollars.

The Sydney Morning Herald asked the Storm if the event was to raise funds for charity, but received no answer.

It was former NRL executive Dave Smith who agreed to Smith getting a testimonial match and two tribute lunches before he retires, who is set to play on in 2019.

There is a belief that this may be a subtle way of the paying Smith outside of the salary cap, with rival clubs reportedly not trusting Melbourne.

The Sydney Morning Herald has revealed that an auditor is looking into the matter and one of the lunches have already been removed from the agreement.

Furthermore, the NRL has warned the Storm they may include funds raised from the testimonial into the club’s salary cap to ensure Smith’s contract is not cheating the system.

For example, if the Storm reduced Smith’s contract by $100,000 because he already made that money from his testimonial events, the NRL may add that amount to their salary cap.


  1. If anyone thinks manly cheated look at it this way, compared to the others its like the difference between stealing a car and a motorbike. Obviously the motorbike theft is a much lessor afence.

  2. Nobody will ever take the salary cap seriously until clubs that have been rorting the cap for decades like the roosters and broncos are held accountable. Its one thing to slap a bandaid on it and go after manly and Melbourne but nobody is going to care until the known cheats are targeted

    You are a joke NRL. Always have been and always will be

        • The NRL clearly favour the Brisbane Broncos and Melbourne Storm over all other clubs because they rely on the support on both sides of the NSW border to keep the competition national. Following this they favour the Roosters because of the influence of “the Don” Nick Politis, behind the scenes, at NRL HQ, in boardrooms and with brown paper bags in parking lots.

          Just watch how FOX and CH9 continue to turn a blind eye to the endless flow of preferential calls and decisions that build momentum and deny momentum to favour these teams. Ask yourselves, would the referees EVER put 2 players concurrently in the sin-bin from one of these 3 teams and leave them with 11 vs 13 on the field? The last time the Broncos felt hardly done by from the powers controlling the game they lead a revolt and took the QLD audience from the ARL. That will NEVER happen again and THIS is the price the rest of league fans are paying for a national competition.

    • Typical bleating from Souths fans. Both the Bunnies and Roosters had 8 rep players in their squads from the weekend games yet all we hear is about Politis. I’m no fan of either team but jeez Souths fans can whine.

  3. I don’t care what anyone says, every team would be cheating the cap in one way or a another. It’s just if they get caught or not. The NRL need to take charge of this an make clubs be accountable

    • Greater transparency would be a start as well as harsher penalties including competition points deductions and having all TPA’s published and capped. While we’re at it, the NRL can give the Eels the 2009 premiership they deserved when the Storm last got busted big time! Perhaps the Storm should have had former NRL salary cap auditor Ian Schubert working their books like the Roosters and the whole salary cap scandal roller coaster wouldn’t have started in the first place.

  4. The better solution is that the NRL start making player payments. Clubs should record the salary and approved structure of their cap. This should then be given to the NRL to make payments.

    This will test clubs and their honesty towards the cap. It will also clear most doubts around the legitimacy of the cap and allow the NRL to conduct regular audits.

    I still can’t see how you are going to stop 3rd party sponsors leaving a car on your driveway with keys in the letterbox….

    • “The better solution is that the NRL start making player payments.”

      I suggested that some time ago but there is no getting around the TPA loophole as Andrew Gee highlighted in a Redhill car park some time ago. In any case, players and the RLPA would cry “restraint of trade” if the NRL got involved in this dark underbelly of the game. Much better to have a flat tax on brown paper bags but Nick Politis has an assembly line pumping these out faster than the NRL can count on their abacus. So it’s a hopeless business I’m afraid. 😉

  5. I wondered if this would cause problems for them under the salary cap when it happened as it seemed like an odd situation to me,
    Does this also mean Thurston/Cowboys are under investigation? Didn’t he make some cash off this as well?

    • Perhaps. I would say that the concern here is that he is having all of these testimonial events, but is playing on next year, so the NRL are probably looking at his salary next year and if it has been undervalued.

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