LEEDS RHINOS’ Gary Hetherington expects the Brexit decision to have a bigger bearing on rugby union than the 13-man code.
As people tried getting to grips with the realisation yesterday that the UK has voted itself out of the European Union – with £120billion wiped off the FTSE 100 – the Super League champions’ chief executive admitted he, too, is unsure what it will all mean.
In terms of the rugby league business, Hetherington says there could be some negative impacts.
“In theory, players who are European passport holders could be affected,” he said. “That wouldn’t hamper us at all at Leeds Rhinos as we don’t have any squad members under that header but, in the future…
“Perhaps the other area where the game might see an effect is in the exchange rate.
“That could make it harder to attract players from overseas so that is an influence but the sport, like everyone, is unsure at this moment of the implications and everyone is just guessing.”
Hetherington does feel the 15-man code might be hit more severely by any fall-out.
“I think rugby union could have a big problem,” he explained.
“There’s a lot of player movement in European rugby union.
“We don’t really go there in rugby league – Australia is the big market – but, in union, there is a lot of business.”
Meanwhile, Hetherington confirmed new signing James Segeyaro could be in the country in time to face Widnes Vikings a week tomorrow.
The Papua New Guinea hooker, 25, has joined from Australian club Penrith Panthers until the end of the season with England full-back Zak Hardaker going the other way.
“We’ve got his work permit all done but it just takes five to six days to receive it,” said Hetherington.
“He’s booked on a flight for every day so as soon as he’s got his paperwork he’ll fly.”