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‘Player-Agents Have More Power & Influence’ | David Riccio On Controversial NRL Get-Out Clauses

Acclaimed rugby league journalist David Riccio joined The Rush Hour with Gus, Jude & Wendell to give light on get-out clauses within NRL player-contracts.

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Writing on The Code, then speaking on Triple M, Riccio went into depth about this “increasing trend”.

Wests Tigers star and NSW Blues representative Stefano Utoikamanu is one of many players with this clause, but interestingly, it’s based on the Tigers on-field performances.

With the Tigers already looking at a consecutive wooden-spoon, his clause states that if the Tigers fail to make the finals this season and next, he’d be able to walk away from the merger club.

Though, if Utoikamanu were to make three or more appearances for the NSW Blues in State of Origin, the exit clause becomes null and void, forcing the Tigers enforcer to stay until the expiration of his contract at the end of 2025.

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‘I can’t recall that clause being put in a contract,’ said Riccio.

Interestingly, Riccio is concerned that this could alert players and agents with future negotiations.

‘More players, potentially taking a gamble, when joining a cellar-dweller club, they’re putting their career on the line.

‘It puts pressure back on the clubs.

‘You fix your mess and I’ll stick around.

‘But if you don’t fix your mess, I want clauses in there to get out.’

Riccio continued, explaining that more control could be taken away from the clubs.

‘I think it’s a by-product of player-agents having more and more power and influence at footy clubs.

‘A piece of that is that players having a stronger voice to.’