With the salary cap set to be reduced, Exeter Chiefs boss Rob Baxter has been forced into a bit of a clearout with eight stars already confirming their departures.
The wage cap was cut by £1.4m, to £5m ahead of the 2022/23 season.
“The majority of them still coming in are still salaries that you would expect to be paying if it was a £6.4m market,” Baxter said.
“There doesn’t really seem to be, at this stage, that kind of realisation that it’s a big drop-off.”
Under the rules clubs have a cap of £5m, plus £600,000-worth of academy credits, and two players whose salaries sit outside the cap.
From next season clubs will only be able to have one player whose wages do not count towards the cap, meaning extra costs they will have to account for.
“It’s probably a bit more than a 25% drop off when you start talking about second marquee players disappearing next season if they’re not under contract, it’s markedly down more than a 25% reduction in the salary cap.
“At the moment that does make the Premiership way less competitive when it comes to southern hemisphere signings, as an example.
“Some of the base salary levels in New Zealand and Australia now are actually comparable to what we could probably offer, whereas before in the £6.4m cap you could be very competitive on base level contracts.”
EXETER CHIEFS DEPARTURES
#1. Sam Nixon to Grenoble
The tighthead prop will leave Exeter Chiefs after just a single season for a move to French Pro D2 side Grenoble, both clubs have confirmed. The 25-year-old joined the Chiefs ahead of the 2021/22 season from Bayonne where he played 24 games in the French Top 14.
#2. Sam Skinner to Edinburgh
Scotland international Skinner – who will join the Scottish capital club next season – has started nine of his 15 Tests to date since he burst onto the scene with a player of the match winning international debut against Fiji at Murrayfield in 2018.