ARLC Introduce No-Fault-Standown Policy for Serious Crime Charges

28th February 2019

The Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) has today confirmed a change to the policy relating to players facing serious criminal charges. The change will give the NRL the power to place a player facing serious criminal charges on a no-fault stand-down until the finalisation of any court proceedings. The change was outlined to NRL Chairs and CEOs, following the ARLC’s Annual General Meeting.

"The change has occurred after extensive consultation across the community and amongst stakeholders," ARLC Chairman Peter Beattie said. "As Chairman, my responsibility, and the responsibility of my fellow Commissioners, is to act in the best interests of the entire game - and to take a leadership position when it comes to acts of violence against women in particular. What we have heard are community concerns about players facing serious criminal charges representing the Game on the field, and today the ARLC has acted on those concerns. The policy addresses charges which are of particular concern to the Game and the broader community, including sexual violence and violence against women. That includes the present game – and the future game. It also includes protecting and supporting the wellbeing of those entrusted to us as part of our game. That includes players and their families; clubs; sponsors; and fans. Today, the Commission has acted with those interests top of mind. And we are supported by Todd and his leadership team; along with Club Chairs and CEOs."

A serious crime charge is deemed to be a charge that has a 11 year maximum gaol term or longer.

De Belin Challenges stand down in court

7th March 2019

St George Illawarra star Jack de Belin could sensationally play in the Dragons' season opener against North Queensland if a Federal Court challenge is successful. De Belin is suing the NRL for misleading and deceptive conduct and challenging its power to suspend him as he faces a criminal trial for aggravated sexual assault. In documents filed in the Federal Court, Mr de Belin claims the NRL and the Australian Rugby League Commission – the sport's governing body – did not have the power to suspend him on February 28 and it was "misleading or deceptive" to claim they had done so.

NRL Implements No-Fault-Standown Policy for Serious Crime Charges

11th March 2019

After being found out that the new policy had not been written into the NRL rules under a court challenge by player Jack De Belin who was one of three players stood down, the NRL did not have the authority to stand players down at the time.

The new "no fault" stand down rule has now been added to the NRL Rules on the eve of the competition. The new rule gives effect to the Policy announced by the Australian Rugby League Commission on 28 February 2019. The NRL today approved the rule which will see the automatic "no fault" stand down of players charged with serious criminal offences. The NRL CEO will also be able to use his discretion to stand down players charged with other criminal offences, particularly those involving women and children.