Biters and Gougers Beware! Rugby Football League widens disciplinary net
Greg McCallum, the Rugby Football League's Director of Referees' Performance Director, has circulated Tetley Bitter Super League and Northern Ford Premiership clubs informing them of a change of policy regarding the way in which players accused of biting or gouging are dealt with by the Rugby Football League Judiciary. The policy change concerns the timeframe over which the charge is considered by the RFL Executive and Disciplinary Committees. Currently a player accused of either biting or gouging has his case dealt with by the Executive Committee on a Monday and, if they consider he has a case to answer, the Disciplinary Committee actions it the following day. The change will see the Executive Committee consider the accusation on the first working day following the match. The Committee then reserves the right to continue the gathering of evidence including photographic and written statements from relevant parties. Should the Executive Committee then decide that the accused player does have a case to answer then he would appear at the next available meeting of the Disciplinary Committee. McCallum said: "It is essential that we maintain the highest standards of player discipline within professional Rugby League. We have learned that the Executive Committee has cleared an accused player of facing a charge and they may have delivered a different verdict had they been in possession of all the available evidence. "We owe it to every player to protect them from assaults of this kind and to suitably punish players found guilty of such despicable offences." JOHN HUXLEY Media and PR Manager. Issued by the Media and Marketing Department of the Rugby Football League, Red Hall, Red Hall Lane, Leeds LS17 8NB. Telephone: 0113 237 5014 (direct line), 0113 232 3838 (fax) firstname.lastname@example.org (e-mail).