Salford Red Devils close in on Brisbane Broncos halfback
Salford Red Devils are on the cusp of securing a deal for Brisbane Broncos halfback Brodie Croft.
The playmaker is looking for a way out of the Broncos after falling out of favour with the NRL club and the Red Devils have moved swiftly.
Croft is currently earning a reported £220,000 a year but it's understood Salford will only pay a fraction of that as part of the deal.
The 24-year-old has made 63 NRL appearances, starting his career with Melbourne before heading to Brisbane in 2020.
Croft started for the Storm in the 2018 Grand Final defeat, but since then has struggled for form. Brisbane finished at the bottom of the ladder last season and he was dropped after just a few rounds of the current campaign. He was axed again after a brief return to the side.
Now, a move to Super League with the Red Devils is all but secure. Salford have been actively looking for halfbacks, with Kevin Brown retiring and Tui Lolohea heading to Huddersfield. Dec Patton is expected to leave at the end of the season too, but Croft now looks set to partner Ata Hingano in the halves next year.
Salford's recruitment for next season has started to pick up pace after a number of victories eased fears of relegation. They are thought to be closing in on a number of signings for 2022, with Croft set to be the headline grab for next year's squad.
Leigh Centurions winger Matty Russell is also understood to have signed for the club ahead of next year.
Sky Sports is the driving force behind the proposal by the RFL to reorganise Super League from next season, League Express understands.
The broadcaster, which earlier this year agreed to continue screening Super League matches for the next two seasons, has apparently expressed its dissatisfaction with the quality of some games it has broadcast this season.
It has told the RFL that it now has two years to get its house in order, or risk losing a Sky broadcasting contract altogether.
Those facts were put before separate meetings of the Super League and Championship clubs last Friday, with the RFL proposing a new Super League format of ten clubs in the elite competition, with ten clubs in a second tier that would be given the title ‘Super League 2’, while the other 16 clubs would play together in a third-tier competition. But that structure would commence in 2023.
In 2022 there would be 14 clubs in Super League, with no relegation this year and the top two clubs from the Championship promoted into the competition.
But at the end of the 2022 season, four clubs would be relegated from Super League into Super League 2. In addition, the RFL is to investigate setting up new properties, such as a regular Nines competition that would involve Super League and perhaps some other clubs.
No one from the RFL was prepared to comment on the proposals, but League Express understands that the proposed restructuring had a broad measure of support on Friday, but that it was by no means unanimous.
The RFL is also proposing to examine whether it should set up a new independent commission to run the game more effectively, bringing in sporting expertise from outside Rugby League to give a fresh perspective on how the sport needs to be organised.