Cross-code transfers in Rugby – Will the Denny Solomona case set a new precedent?

Published 13 January 2017 By: James Hill

Rugby player on the field with ball

Cross-code transfers have been a feature of the Rugby League / Rugby Union dichotomy for decades. However, Denny Solomona's recent controversial move of officially retiring from the Super League’s Castleford Tigers to sign a new contract with the English Premiership’s Sale Sharks[1] sets a new precedent. Castleford have now commenced proceedings in the High Court against Solomona, his agent and Sale Sharks. The case could arguably affect cross-code transfers in the way that the Bosman ruling affected football back in the 1990s.[2]

This article examines the key legal issues arising out of Solomona’s case, namely:

  • The factual background;
  • The prospect of success of Castleford's claims against Solomona for breach of contract;
  • The prospects of success of Castleford's claims against Sale Sharks and Solomona's agent, Andrew Clarke, for inducing breach of contract; and
  • The impact that the case may have on future cross code moves and any processes which may be put in place to prevent moves being forced through in a similar manner.


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James Hill

James Hill

James Hill is an Associate at Onside Law. James works on a broad range of commercial disputes, including High Court claims and arbitration, as well as a variety of regulatory matters. In particular, James has experience of obtaining injunctive relief against employees for breach of contract and theft of confidential information.

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