The NRL today finalised sanctions against three clubs which breached the game’s head injury rules in Round Three.
CEO Todd Greenberg said fines totalling $350,000 had been imposed on the Gold Coast Titans, St George Illawarra Dragons and Newcastle Knights.
He said that, following consideration of submissions from each club, the penalties would be:
Ø Gold Coast Titans $50,000 (with a further $100,000 suspended) for breaches involving Kane Elgey and Ryan Simpkins
Ø St George Illawarra Dragons $50,000 (with a further $50,000 suspended) for an incident involving Josh Dugan
Ø Newcastle Knights $50,000 (with a further $50,000 suspended) for an incident involving Brendan Elliot
In a letter to each club, Mr Greenberg emphasised that the NRL did not question the commitment, integrity or professionalism of their medical and training staff.
“We acknowledge the difficult job they face in the modern game and we are exploring ways to provide more support to our medical officers,” he said.
The NRL noted that none of the clubs had previously breached the head injury protocols and it has therefore been decided to suspend part of the penalty.
Mr Greenberg said the suspended portion of the fines will only be imposed if the clubs breach the head injury rules again during the next 12 months.
“These penalties are another reminder to all clubs that player safety is vitally important and we will take a tough stand against any breach of the head injury assessment rules,” he said.
Mr Greenberg said he was pleased by the game’s response since the breach notices were issued.
“All clubs have acted responsibly to remove players from the field for head injury assessments and we hope and expect that will continue,” he said.
Mr Greenberg said the three clubs could accept their sanctions or apply to take their cases to the NRL Appeals Committee.