NRL side North Queensland Cowboys have been fined $20,000 after becoming the latest Australian side to breach concussion guidelines – sending a warning to NRL clubs ahead of the play-off series.
Wests Tigers and Canterbury have incurred fines already the season for breaching the rules, and the Cowboys have followed suit after an investigation into an incident involving Tariq Sims back in round 20 of the NRL.
NRL head of football Todd Greenberg believes Sims should have been taken from the field of play – and warned the rest of the division that regardless of the importance of matches coming up, clubs must always respect player welfare as a priority.
“The welfare of our players is too important to risk because of any game of football,” Greenberg said. “So clubs will be expected to put aside the importance of the finals and remove players from the field for assessment if they suffer head knocks.
“This fine (on the Cowboys) should act as a timely reminder to clubs that we expect the NRL’s concussion rules to be followed if players suffer head knocks.
“We believe the concussion rules have generally been enforced by the clubs this year and we are adamant that this must continue through the finals series.”