Leigh Centurions: Beaumont will challenge salary cap

Leigh Centurions celebrate winning the Kingstone Press Championship League Leaders Shield. Photo: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com
Leigh Centurions celebrate winning the Kingstone Press Championship League Leaders Shield. Photo: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com

Derek Beaumont says Leigh will not ignore the salary cap in 2016 but he plans to contest it.

Writing in his exclusive column for the Leigh Observer, the Centurions head of rugby said the current system doesn’t work and penalises Championship clubs.

“I have never said I would ignore the salary cap,” he said. “However, I will challenge it as I believe that in its present format it is restrictive and anti-competitive.

“In a two-tier structure, it is fine for us to have a significantly lower cap to keep the division competitive.

“If the winning club is then promoted, you can recruit to the value of the new cap. I have learned from last year that playing Super League week in, week out is a different level and we need to strengthen towards that.”

Beaumont said Leigh’s disappointing Super 8 results proved his point.

He argued: “To beat Super League sides, you need Super League players and to get Super League players you need Super League wages, which in turn requires a Super League cap.

“Those players are available now – not at the start of the middle 8s competition – so we need to compete for them now.

“I am hopeful that the RFL will see the points I have raised and why the current cap doesn’t work. It isn’t something the RFL have knowingly manufactured – it is just the outcome of the new structure and that will always throw up anomalies.

“It’s about being brave enough and having the foresight to accept those abnormalities and move quickly to resolve them or minimise their impact. Players of the calibre I have signed will not be available at the start of the 8s, and even if they were you couldn’t expect them to slot straight into your structure.”