Rudolf is in a position to settle his future after the NRL announced player contracts would be registered from this week, lifting a temporary pause due to the coronavirus outbreak. All new contracts will need to include a clause that allows for a reduction in contract value should the NRL and the Rugby League Players Association agree to a salary cap decrease next year.
Rudolf’s rise to the NRL is a reward for his persistence. The South Sydney junior failed to make an impression at Redfern and shifted to Redcliffe in a bid to revive his career. He juggled three jobs while playing football, becoming one of the Queensland Cup’s most consistent forwards.
The day after the Sharks signed him for the 2019 season, he tore his ACL in Redcliffe’s loss to Canterbury in the state championship grand final. Rudolf bounced back to make his first-grade debut in round one this year against his housemate, Rabbitohs forward Liam Knight.
Rudolf’s immediate focus will be to retain his spot in the 17 for the Sharks and to help his side register its first win of the season. The Sharks were without star trio Josh Dugan, Matt Moylan and Bronson Xerri for their opening encounters, but Morris is hopeful they will be available for selection when the season resumes
“Bronson definitely and Duges would have been likely for that round three game,” Morris said. “[Moylan] will be getting close by the time we get back.”
Meanwhile, Wests Tigers have signed promising Penrith forward Shawn Blore. The Panthers released the 19-year-old forward from the final six months of his contract, allowing him to take up a long-term deal with the joint-venture outfit.