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Pay us for developing NRL stars: Bellamy

The Melbourne Storm are under pressure to fend off rival NRL clubs trying to sign Cameron Munster.As rivals circle his star playmaker Cameron Munster, Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy has called on the NRL to reward clubs through the salary cap for developing talent.

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Seven NRL clubs have already signalled their interest in luring Munster from the Storm for the 2020 season when he comes off contract.

The 23-year-old utility back, who joined the Storm as a teenager five years ago, could command more than $1 million a season.

Bellamy says there’s no financial incentive or compensation for clubs to invest in youngsters when others sit back and just throw big money at them as soon as they’re established first-grade players.

“I’d like to see the NRL reward clubs for developing players and get a percentage (deduction from the salary cap) after they’ve been there a certain number of years,” Bellamy said on Friday

“If you’ve recruited them as young kids and developed them you should be getting a reward but every year we seem to lose players that we’ve recruited and developed as young people.

“They go to clubs who don’t do any development and just recruit.

“It irks me, especially with Cameron, that we got him as a 17-year-old and everyone’s coming in with their chequebooks and he might be going.”

Bellamy said the argument that clubs didn’t have a big enough junior area to source players from didn’t hold water given the small Victorian competition.

Rockhampton-born Munster was playing in the Queensland Cup while another example is winger Suliasi Vunivalu, who was playing rugby union at an Auckland school.

Bellamy said his club obviously would be doing all they could to hold on to Munster.

“He’s shown his worth to us with his consistency this year and also in big rep games so everyone understands and knows what calibre of player you’re going to get with Cameron,” Bellamy said.

“I’d like to think that Cameron considers that we helped develop him here although he’s done a lot of hard work too.

“Whatever we can do to keep him we’ll be doing that.”

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