RFL boost for overseas Crusaders players

Clinton Schifcofske
Full-back or wing Clinton Schifcofske is one of 13 Crusaders who could benefit from the RFL dispensation

Clubs are to be given exemption from overseas quotas to help Crusaders players find new employers after the Welsh side withdrew from Super League.

The Rugby Football League has also confirmed that playing contracts at Crusaders beyond this season have now been terminated.

Clubs are normally restricted to a maximum of five overseas players and five "non-federation trained" players.

Crusaders have 13 such players as they had dispensation as an expansion club.

These players will now not count on quotas if other clubs wish to sign them and this dispensation will apply for the length of contract they sign with a new club.

RFL chief operating officer Ralph Rimmer said: "Protecting player welfare is of paramount importance to us.

"In being able to act quickly with this special dispensation ruling, we are giving those Crusaders players that have been affected by the club's decision to withdraw their Super League Licence application every opportunity to find a new club from the start of the 2012 season.

"We have been able to do this by working alongside the RLPA [Rugby League Players' Association] and also Crusaders chief executive Rod Findlay and we would like to thank them for their help in this matter."

One of Crusaders' overseas stars, Australian half-back Jarrod Sammut, has already signed for Bradford for next season, although the Bulls have said that deal was done before Crusaders sprang the surprise of withdrawing their Super League application.