Tuesday 20 February 2018 / 03:02 AM


Loyalty is the most absurd notion there is in rugby league.

It is a malleable concept used only when it suits. Clubs ignore it unless using it to keep a star player. Players only site it when they have inked a new deal or are trying to convince a teammate to stay. The concept is bullshit and the quicker fans forget it, the better.

The only real loyalty in rugby league is between a fan and a club – and by club, that means the colours, the emblem, the symbols. It does not mean people.

It is this concept of loyalty that has for so long stifled mid-season player movement and horse trading between clubs. It shouldn’t. The benefits of mid-season player moves far outweigh the negatives. Players get a fresh beginning and perhaps more opportunity. Contenders get to upgrade perceived weaknesses. Struggling clubs get the opportunity to offload some salary and try some youngsters.

Mitchell Moses is an ordinary player but the Eels believe they can return to the finals and were under the impression they needed a half. Wests Tigers wanted Moses out after he turned it up by not trying.

Nate Myles shifted to the Storm this week. Melbourne were in desperate need of props with Christian Welch out for the year and now Jordan McLean sidelined for an extended period.

Myles has struggled at Manly for 18 months and was going to leave in 2018. Bellamy is the master at rejuvenating props late in their career. Everybody wins from this deal.

Other clubs should also be looking to make moves.

North Queensland is in desperate need of another prop to add to their rotation with Matt Scott out for the year.

Manly need a three-quarter now Jorge Taufua is gone for the season. They can’t contend with a Wright playing on a wing, no matter if it is Matthew or Jono.

Canberra are crying out for a competent half to at least put some pressure on the two underachievers playing there.

Mid-season moves happen in every sport. The NRL needs to move with the times and facilitate more mid-year change by ensuring everyone wins.

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About the author

Nick Tedeschi

You will not find a more passionate rugby league man than Nick, whose Making The Nut column has garnered a huge cult following over the last decade. The Sydney-based raconteur co-authored The Book of NRL Lists with CBS stablemate WILL EVANS in 2014 and has penned several other books; he joined the CBS team with his weekly Six Up The Middle feature in 2016.

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