Jarrad Nott of Maclean High gets a shoulder charge from Grafton High's Matt Muller in the open Daily Examiner league final at McKittrick Park.
Jarrad Nott of Maclean High gets a shoulder charge from Grafton High's Matt Muller in the open Daily Examiner league final at McKittrick Park. Adam Hourigan

To shoulder charge or not to shoulder charge?

THE NSW Country Rugby League vice president Doug Harrison said he was shocked to hear the National Rugby League NRL had decided to ban the shoulder charge from the sport.

  • VIDEO: Will banning shoulder charges change the game? POLL: Should it be banned?

"We knew it was up for discussion, but I was shocked to hear it had happened," he said.

Doug Harrison
Doug Harrison

 

After it has been gone for a while you will never know that it has ever been there, but it was a bit of a shock at first.

The shoulder charge happens when a defending player barges into an attacking player, leading with their shoulder, usually to try and take the attacking player out.

The new ruling will come into effect in the NRRRL from the start of the 2013 season.

Mr Harrison said players in the NRRRL would take longer to adapt to the rule change than their professional counterparts in the NRL.

NRL Interim Chief Executive Shane Mattiske said the Australian Rugby League Commission has accepted a recommendation to outlaw the 'shoulder charge' from all competitions from 2013.

The Commission reviewed a detailed report into the shoulder charge and accepted a management recommendation that the increased size of athletes was creating a situation where the shoulder charge could, if maintained, lead to an unacceptable injury risk.

Work has already commenced with the England's RFL and other member nations of the Rugby League International Federation with a view to extending the move at all levels of the game on an international basis (New Zealand already has a domestic ban) in place.

"This is about reducing a potential risk of serious injury to our players," Mr Mattiske said.

"The Commission has gone through a thorough review process and been public in warning players about the risks of illegal play.

"The report shows that the shoulder charge is not a significant part of the game and its removal is not likely to impact on the way the game is played.

"With the increase in size and strength of the players, we believe this is the time to eliminate a potential risk."

Should shoulder charging be banned in rugby league?

This poll ended on 23 November 2012.

Current Results

Yes

26%

No

73%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.



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