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.