The Canberra Raiders will ramp up negotiations with off-contract stars Jordan Rapana and Sia Soliola following Wednesday's proposal by the NRL to keep squad sizes at 30 players in 2021.
Fears NRL roster sizing could be reduced by up to five spots were put to bed in a hook-up with all 16 club chief executives earlier this week, which means the Raiders will be able to accommodate Rapana and Soliola next season.
It will come at a cost however, with clubs facing a possible 10 per cent reduction in their salary cap size next season, a proposal the Rugby League Players Association will now put to its members.
Raiders head of recruitment Peter Mulholland said the club would now turn its attention to its off-contract stars, but was concerned about the effects of a reduced salary cap on players at the lower end of NRL rosters.
"First priority will be resign Jordan and Sia," Mulholland said.
"We've been waiting on this, to know what the cap is and to know what the numbers are. We're just holding on with him and Sia until we get the gazetted figures and so forth.
"I'm surprised they took a 10 per cent pay cut but I'm also not surprised that they voted to keep the two extra players in that because that would've put 32 players in limbo, two from each club.
"My only concern I guess is for the blokes down the bottom of the pecking order and how they survive the 10 per cent pay cut as full-time players.We had some difficulties this year when they had to take the big pay cut."
Veteran prop Soliola hasn't played since fracturing his face in early July, but remains a chance for a shock return against St George Illawarra this weekend. Coach Ricky Stuart is expected to make a call on Soliola on Friday.
Rapana, meanwhile, played at right centre in last weekend's loss to the Roosters covering the hole left by the injured Curtis Scott.
The 31-year-old former New Zealand international said he hoped his next Raiders contract would be locked in soon.
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"I want to stay here, I love it here," Rapana said.
"I'm not too stressed about it, not stressed at all. I know they're sorting that out and I definitely would say we're getting closer to sorting that out.
"My wife's from here. She's ready to pop and I definitely believe I'll finish up here.
"I've got unfinished business here as well in terms of winning a comp here.
"The boys that I've played here with I've played with for almost six or seven years. It's the icing on the cake, Canberra being my home away from home."
Rapana said he would play in the centres as long as required.
"This year I've played almost every position apart from in the halves and hooker," Rapana said.
"I played there as a youngster and I think the only difference there is you probably can't get the carries that you can get as a winger and I like getting my hands on the ball."