Manly star Brett Stewart has made an impassioned plea to the NRL to look at salary cap exemptions for long-serving players, with brother Glenn in the firing line to be forced out of the club.
A Wollongong junior, Brett is contracted to Manly for four years but, yesterday, he voiced his distress at the prospect of his sibling not being able to finish his career on the northern beaches.
NRL chief executive Dave Smith is open to salary cap changes and is reportedly considering a proposal where he would have the power to pay certain players outside the cap at his discretion.
Brett Stewart urged Smith to allow concessions for one-club players.
"That's probably a good start, something along those lines," he said.
With Manly needing to dig deep to lock arguably the game's premier halfback Daly Cherry-Evans to a long-term deal, the consequence could be that Kangaroos forward Glenn Stewart is forced out - with Canberra reportedly interested.
The Stewart brothers debuted at Manly in 2003 and celebrated two premierships together.
Brett says he'll leave it up to Glenn to make his decision but admitted he'd be shattered if they were split up.
"Obviously I've heard the same rumours as you blokes but I'd love to finish our career here. Both of us would, I think," he said.
"We've had a pretty good career here so far but we all know the salary cap and what that's designed to do.
"So if the club has their hands tied, like every other player [you] probably shop around."
New Zealand five-eighth Kieran Foran said he was desperate for Glenn Stewart to stay but admitted that holding onto halves partner Cherry-Evans was imperative for the club's future.
"He's a massive, key component to this side moving forward and the success of this club," Foran said.
"They need to do whatever they can do to make sure he stays in the maroon and white.
"I definitely want Glenn to be here. He's great for the club and him and his brother have been a huge part of the success over the years here.
"It would be disappointing to see them separated. They deserve to play out their careers together."
Meanwhile, Foran refused to comment on a report naming him as one of the New Zealand players investigated for taking sleeping pills and energy drinks at the Rugby League World Cup.