RFL releases statement in response to St Helens head coach Paul Wellens’ comments on John Asiata tackles

THE RFL has released a statement in response to St Helens head coach Paul Wellens’ comments on John Asiata’s tackles during the Challenge Cup semi-final.

Wellens was furious with four injuries sustained by his players, with Agnatius Paasi and Alex Walmsley out for the season.

“As a game, we bang the player welfare drum a fair bit and make a lot of effort and make a lot of strides as a game to protect players because ultimately we have a duty of care to protect our player at all times,” Wellens said.

“But, in my opinion, and very few would disagree with me, this weekend, the governing body has failed in its duty to protect its players.

“On the weekend, we had four players injured by one player tackling in a reckless and dangerous manner.”

After being contacted by League Express, the RFL responded to a statement.

“Nobody wants to see injuries to players and we wish each of them the earliest possible recovery,” a statement to League Express reads.

“We have listened intently to what the club has to say and we fully understand their position. We have also reiterated to the club that our approach to reviewing the incidents they refer to is consistent with all cases previously where clubs have cited incidents and alleged serious injuries to players.

“We assure all clubs that we will consult, consider and decide whether this type of tackle or technique is acceptable in our sport.

“As with any change to the laws of the game or to on-field regulations, we will undertake a thorough review with all stakeholders, including coaches and the laws committee, but any changes cannot happen in-season.