NRL opens up roster system, scraps June 30

Scott BaileyAAP
The NRL has changed its roster deadline for player transfers from June 30 to August.
Camera IconThe NRL has changed its roster deadline for player transfers from June 30 to August.

The NRL's June 30 deadline for the finalisation of rosters has been pushed back to the start of August as part of a raft of contracting changes to offer flexibility to players and clubs.

Clubs will now have until the first Monday in August to make additions to their rosters, including mid-season transfers from other teams.

The June 30 date has long formed some part of the NRL's transfer window, but it was pushed back last season to August due to the delayed season.

That will stay in place for 2021, with the Rugby League Players' Association supporting the change to give more freedom to players.

Theoretically, it will allow clubs to pick up unwanted players from other clubs until later in the season in the event of injuries if they haven't filled their 30 spots.

Clubs will also be given more freedom over who they can select in teams under other agreements reached over the summer.

Development players will be able to be picked in NRL teams from round 11, where previously they couldn't be selected until after June 30.

Players from outside of each club's top 30 will also be available for selection from round 11, where previously they were barred altogether unless granted an exemption for injuries.

The change will be a significant boost for players in reserve grade, who otherwise had little light at the end of the tunnel even if they were performing well.

Clubs have been working with the new rules for some time, with a minimum of only 28 players required on their rosters from March 1, down from the previous mark of 29.

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