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Warriors CEO remains divided over possible salary cap exemptions for rugby union converts

The NRL will reportedly re-examine whether clubs that sign current rugby union players can be granted an exemption from the salary cap after current stars Carter Gordon and Mark Nawaqanitawase recently switched codes.

With expansion firmly in sight over the next few years, the NRL's desire to see more big names and, more importantly, quality players across the league could be the catalyst for this move.

Although the details of the proposed idea have not yet been announced, there are growing concerns among those involved in football that the move could have a negative impact on the majority of clubs due to current salary cap issues.

Cameron George, CEO of the New Zealand Warriors, is among those who are skeptical about the move, saying he believes all clubs – including his own – will try to manipulate the exemptions.

“It’s hard to understand, to be honest, I’m not really up to speed on what the discussion is about,” George said on SEN 1170 Morning.

“In theory, I don't know how it would work to give a rugby union convert a special dispensation. In this case, I'll send the players over to rugby union next week and then bring them back with a special dispensation.

“What defines a rugby player, how long does he have to have played rugby?”

George also expressed scepticism about the willingness and patience of NRL coaches to teach union converts how to navigate a new game.

“The other thing is that while there is a lot of interest, the reality is that coaches are very cautious because it takes a long time to convert a rugby player who has been in the rugby system for a long time into a successful rugby league player,” George added.

“The coaches are quite cautious and I know that from experience here, where we are met with a lot of interest.

“In theory, this may all sound fine, but there would have to be a lot of detail about it, otherwise a lot of people could get exceptions that probably shouldn't exist.”

Listen to the full chat below.