Wests Tigers v Sea Eagles preview
3 hours ago | Tim Costello
Referees will be given discretion to sin bin players for serious instances of foul play - even if the victim is able to continue playing - under a change to the NRL Laws and Interpretations.
Chairman Peter Beattie said the ARL Commission has endorsed a recommendation from the Competition Committee to strengthen the sin bin rule to protect players from foul play.
"No one wants to see players taken out of the game through acts of foul play," Mr Beattie said.
"Sometimes those acts do not warrant a send off - but they do deserve 10 minutes in the sin bin.
"Until now, the rules did not allow referees to use the sin bin for foul play unless the victim of foul play was forced to leave the field and was unlikely to take any further part of the game.
"So we have seen players commit acts of foul play, put on report but miss no game time.
"We don't think that is an adequate deterrent so, from Round 15 onwards, referees will be able to use the sin bin for foul play whether the victim has to leave the field or not."
CEO Todd Greenberg said the sin bin could be used for high tackles, dangerous throws, shoulder charges and crusher tackles.
"The sin bin could also be used for cheap late shots on playmakers who play such a key role in our game," he said.
"I stress that the sin bin will only be used for serious incidents and there will be no impact on tough, fair and legal play."
The Commission also endorsed a proposal which will allow salary cap relief for Clubs in the event their players suffer long-term injuries during Representative fixtures.
New rules will allow that:
• if a player suffers a long-term injury while participating in a representative fixture, Clubs will be able to sign a replacement player as well as access a salary cap exemption for a portion of, or all of, the replacement player's value;
• The cap exemption will be on a dollar-for-dollar basis compared to the injured player, up to $350,000;
• The exemption allowable will be based on the number of rounds remaining in the regular season.
"Clubs place significant investments in their players so it stands to reason that we would attempt to compensate them as much as possible for instances where their players have suffered long-term injuries while they are on representative duties," NRL Chief Operating Officer Nick Weeks said.
"Ultimately, we want to support representative football, but provide adequate on-field compensation.
"There are some strong parameters around the relief but we certainly view this proposal as being fair to all parties."
The salary cap relief will now begin with this year's Holden State of Origin Series and other Representative fixtures.