Shoulder charge is out in NRRRL


NRRRL chairman Brian Rix
NRRRL chairman Brian Rix

REFEREES will have plenty to contend with when the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League kicks off in April following the banning of the shoulder charge.


The decision was made at a Country Rugby League meetingin Sydney on Saturday.

It comes three months after the shoulder charge was banned in the National Rugby League.

Until Saturday it looked as though the shoulder charge might have remained in the NRRRL.

The meeting was attended by every secretary and president from the CRL regions.

"There was about 50% against it until we heard the advice from the solicitor and the insurance companies," NRRRL president Brian Rix said.

"After lots of debate a decision has been made to ban it and we support that.

"I was in two minds about it - you don't want to see people injured but a good old-fashioned shoulder charge has always been part of the game."

Rix said he would hate to see a shoulder charge penalty decide a grand final.

The shoulder charge issue hit boiling point in July last year following South Sydney fullback Greg Inglis's sickening shot on Dragons lock Dean Young.

Young was knocked unconscious and taken off in a neck brace.

"The Inglis shoulder charge was seen by millions of people and it looked bad," CRL vice-president Doug Harrison said.

"You only need one person to have a bad injury and we've been heading towards this for a while.

"In a lot of ways grass-roots footy is ahead of the NRL."

CRL juniors have already been playing under the ban up to the Under-16s in recent years.

Rix believes it will be up to the clubs and referees to stamp out the shoulder charge in the NRRRL.

"It will be up to the referees to interpret it and it will probably cause a lot of debate throughout the season," Rix said.

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