CROSS-CODE signing Luther Burrell will not cost Warrington Wolves a penny on their salary cap for the first 18 months of his rugby league career.

The Wire have taken advantage of one of several dispensations in the Super League salary cap regulations to snap up the 31-year-old former England centre on a two-and-a-half year contract from July 1.

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The league introduced new rules two years ago to allow clubs with sufficient funds to bring in players from outside the game without it impacting on the wage cap.

Although Burrell played league as a junior – he is a former team-mate of Huddersfield and England winger Jermaine McGillvary – he has spent his entire professional career in union, firstly for Leeds Carnegie and Sale and for the last seven years with Northampton.

Warrington used the exemption to sign winger Taylor Prell from Yorkshire Carnegie in April 2017, although he was released at the end of the 2018 season without making a first-team appearance.

"The rule has been in place for a number of years but probably hasn't been utilised," said chief executive Karl Fitzpatrick.

"It's called the new talent pool dispensation, so if you were to bring in Usain Bolt or anybody from outside rugby league, it will not impact on your cap for at least the first two years.

"If you've never played rugby league at professional level you get 100 per cent dispensation, which means in this case we'll basically get Luther at zero on the cap for the remainder of this year and next year and then in 2021 he's at 50 per cent.

"So it can make a real difference. Clubs are allowed two spots, so if another one did become available which we thought could benefit our squad and could make the transition, we would look at that again."

"Obviously we've still got to pay his salary and that's where we're fortunate to have Simon Moran and Stuart Middleton, the chairman, who back the club in these instances."