Despite being under contract with the South Sydney Rabbitohs until the end of the 2017 season, there is speculation that NRL star Greg Inglis could ask for an early release to play overseas.
Inglis has been offered a $1.17 million contract with a French side, according to Fairfax Media, and could be granted the break in contract after Sam Burgess set the precedent last year.
If he walks away, Inglis would follow Burgess, Sonny Bill Williams and Jarryd Hayne in departing the game – a common theme plaguing Australian football across multiple codes.
Last year the ARU introduced a new flexible contract system for elite players, in the hope that Australian rugby talent stays in the country. Read more on that here.
NRL chief executive Dave Smith’s new discretionary powers to recruit or retain marquee players for more than the salary cap could be tested for the first time on Inglis.
Inglis has been playing in the NRL since 2005. He has played representative football for Queensland, Australia and the Indigenous All Stars. He was in two grand final winning teams, won a Clive Churchill Medal, the Golden Boot Award, multiple Dally Ms and was named in the Indigenous Team of the Century.
The season kicks off with on March 5 between the Broncos and Rabbitohs at Suncorp Stadium.
As a means to spice up the competition, this year the NRL will visit Perth, Darwin and Bathurst as well as visiting the Sydney Cricket Ground and Belmore Sports Ground in 2015.
An Anzac Day back-to-back blockbuster will also be introduced with five games played from midday to 10pm in honour of the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing.
The NRL has released the 2015 draw which you can see here.
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