Four players given RFL Covid bans

Four Super League players have received 14-day bans from all Rugby League activity after breaching the RFL’s Covid-19 protocols.

The RFL has taken action against the four after they were found to have gone against the published guidelines in the operational rules.

The four players in question will be fined, unable to play and banned from training with their team-mates for a two-week period from the date of their misdemeanour.

A fifth player is thought to have also been banned, but successfully overturned it on appeal.

Two of the players will have served their bans by the weekend, but two others are likely to be missing the latest round of action.

League Express has obtained a document sent to players outlining the protocols they must adhere to outside of their club’s Designated Controlled Environment (DCE). A list of examples include:

• If an individual visits a gym or pool outside the DCE;
• If any individual receives massage therapy outside of the DCE;
• If an individual is not appropriately socially distanced from someone from outside their own household, e.g. going on a date for an extended length of time or drinks with multiple people;
• Failure to wear face masks at appropriate times;
• Incorrect usage or no use of face masks;
• Car sharing (save in accordance with the Protocol);
• Meeting with people outside of an individual’s household in excess of government guidelines;
• Use of items shared with others without appropriate cleaning;
• Sharing food/drink.

The clubs where the players have been found to be in breach of the rulings are not thought to have objected to the RFL’s stance, which is set to act as a warning to any other players that breaches will be clamped down on.

When contacted by League Express, an RFL spokesperson said: “Covid protocols were established in the weeks leading up to the resumption of the Betfred Super League season earlier this month, with an emphasis on player education and collective buy- in, and with clubs encouraged to agree and enforce their own codes of conduct.

“In the main the Protocols have been observed, and we are grateful to the majority of players and other individuals involved for their responsible and disciplined approach.

“However we are in a situation where breaches of the Protocols by any individuals connected with the game could have serious repercussions for all – either an impact on individual and public health, or in terms of disruption to the rescheduled fixtures list.  It is therefore important that appropriate sanctions reflecting the reasons for the regulations are imposed.  The ability to enforce a 14 day stand-down reflects this. ”

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