While some fans may have forgotten the dreaded round 13 rule and the havoc it caused amongst NRL club’s up until 2015, the repercussions of this questionable rule are still being felt in the NRL to this day.

To put it briefly, what the round 13 rule allowed players to do was allow any player that had signed a contract with another club for the following season to renege on their commitment and instead re-sign with their current club prior to the round 13 deadline.

First implemented in 2008, the controversial ruling was scrapped in mid-2015 following the now infamous Daly Cherry-Evans saga, after Cherry-Evans backed out of his four-year contract with the Gold Coast Titans to instead re-sign on a lifetime deal with the Sea Eagles worth roughly $1.3 million annually.

Here are the top five contract backflips in the NRL era.


5. Luke Lewis

Unbeknownst to most, Luke Lewis was actually the first player to exploit the NRL’s round 13 rule back in 2008.

After being offered a four-year, $350,000 per season deal by the Rabbitohs to leave his junior club, Lewis agreed to terms and signed on the dotted line with the Bunnies.

After initially offering him a contract worth roughly half of what the Rabbitohs put on the table, the Panthers sensationally came back to the table offering Lewis the same financial terms.

While he admitted that he did “feel a bit guilty” about going back on his word, the idea of leaving the Panthers and his family was too much for the Penrith junior.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 27: Luke Lewis of the Panthers celebrates after he scored a try during the round 12 NRL match between the Penrith Panthers and the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles at Centrebet Stadium on May 27, 2012 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)


  1. Inglis also promised to return to Melbourne at the earliest possible moment but he never did.

    Might have been a blessing in disguise.

  2. What about “salary cap cameron”? Loudly claimed at a press conference that he was staying with the Storm to be loyal, only to sign a highly secretive contract to stay. Could have been the greatest player ever but just like Dimitri and that goat, will only be remembered for being the biggest salary cap cheat in the games history.

  3. Smith will go down as 1 of the greatest players of all time and will definitely become an immortal. He is still the best hooker in the game and he is 36 years old, nobody controls a game like him.

    Are you a Queenslander?

  4. Smith will never be an immortal, you need credibility for that and Smith has none. He will only be known as the biggest salary cap cheat the game has ever seen.

  5. The French Dressed Chickens didn’t want to pay the money to keep him.
    They’d rather buy a winger, buy another winger to replace the first injured winger they bought .Then pay another third winger to put him in the top grade , when the second winger they bought was also injured . Evidently that’s somehow cheaper than keeping the original winger ( Ferguson ) & paying him what he was worth. Only in Nugget land could that be cheaper….

Comments are closed.