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'I'd quit the club immediately' - Paul Gallen says he'll quit if Sharks' 2016 title is stripped

Cronulla captain Paul Gallen has rebuked Cameron Smith's calls for Melbourne's stripped NRL premierships to be reinstated, arguing the Sharks' salary cap breaches pale in comparison to the Storm's.

Smith caused headlines last week when he claimed that Melbourne's 2007 and 2009 title should be handed back to them, accusing the NRL of double standards over their treatment of the Sharks breaches.

An NRL investigation earlier this month found that the Sharks had breached the cap by more than $700,000 between 2013 and 2017.

The majority of those breaches came in 2017, where the league claimed a former Sharks board member had set up and funded a separate company to procure illegal third-party agreements.

The league also said that while there had been illegal promises made in Cronulla's premiership-winning year of 2016, they did not take the Sharks' salary above the cap level.

"I will say this to Cam, be very careful what you wish for," Gallen said on Nine's Sports Sunday.

"We went in and self reported a $50,000 discrepancy, which the CEO thought was all it was. It turned out it was a $700,000 discrepancy.

"You maybe don't want the NRL going back and searching those books, particularly when they (Melbourne) were found to be $3.7 million over the salary cap over five years.

"Three of those years they were a million over the cap.

"Compared to the Sharks we were 750k over in intended third-party payments, the NRL found they were intended to be paid. Not all were paid."

Gallen said he didn't feel as if Cronulla's maiden premiership title, which came with a grand final win over Melbourne, had been tainted by the cap breaches.

"If we got it taken off us, I would throw my ring away and I would quit the club immediately. It wouldn't sit well with me," he said.

"The fact is we were under the salary cap in 2016, even with the intended third- party payments. We were under the salary cap. I have no issue with it."

Meanwhile, James Segeyaro appears set to be the unlucky Sharks player to lose his contract over the breaches, with the club forced to play $353,500 under the cap for the next two years.

Segeyaro's contract was only provisionally registered by the NRL when he was signed last month and Cronulla have since been unable to unload any other players.


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