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Players ignored the chance to have a say on rule change

Charged down … St George's Dean Young receives attention after he was shoulder charged by South Sydney star Greg Inglis at ANZ Stadium in July.

Charged down … St George's Dean Young receives attention after he was shoulder charged by South Sydney star Greg Inglis at ANZ Stadium in July. Photo: Getty Images

THEY rose almost as one to vent their anger about the outlawing of the shoulder charge, while some expressed their frustration that they were not asked first.

The truth is, they were.

In the embryonic stages of the report that eventually convinced the ARLC to abolish the shoulder charge at a meeting on Tuesday, NRL players were emailed and asked for their opinions on the tackling technique. Brian Canavan, who put together the independent report, received only one emailed response and a telephone call.

League ... Considered part of the game for generations, the technique was finally banned this week by the ARL Commission.

League ... Considered part of the game for generations, the technique was finally banned this week by the ARL Commission.

''The committee who ran this process for us went through a process with the RLPA [the Rugby League Players' Association],'' the NRL's director of football operations, Nathan McGuirk, said. ''They obviously set a brief of what the research was, including the terms of reference, asking for feedback, either written or verbal, on the review.

''I believe the result of that totalled one written summary from a player, along with I believe one verbal conversation with Brian Canavan. They also received written feedback from one club.''

The sheer number of players expressing their disapproval of the commission's decision, which followed a recommendation from management, including McGuirk, will have surprised the NRL. And officials there were not taking it lightly. The same can be said for RLPA boss David Garnsey, who confirmed that the process by which the ARLC banned the tackle was due to be discussed in depth at a scheduled board meeting on Wednesday night.

Rugby ... The shoulder charge has never been acceptable in the 15-man game, something South African playmaker Butch James found out again this year when he was banned for four weeks.

Rugby ... The shoulder charge has never been acceptable in the 15-man game, something South African playmaker Butch James found out again this year when he was banned for four weeks. Photo: Getty Images

''Clearly, it will be discussed there,'' Garnsey said. ''It needs to be something the board looks at. The views of the players [on Tuesday and Wednesday], they are respected and a matter of some significance.

''Certainly, there was an invitation at the very outset of the review, to offer their view on the shoulder charge. I don't know how many did because the responses were to be forwarded directly to Brian Canavan - but there was certainly no consultation once the review had been finalised.

''This is obviously a matter of enormous interest to the players, given the way they've reacted. And regardless of how many responded, players have been expressing views [about the shoulder charge] publicly for some time. It's not been a secret [how they feel].''

Cricket ... Banned since Charles Bannerman took block against Alfred Shaw in the first Test in 1877. However  Andrew Symonds received the man of the match award for cleaning up a streaker at the Gabba in 2008.

Cricket ... Banned since Charles Bannerman took block against Alfred Shaw in the first Test in 1877. However Andrew Symonds received the man of the match award for cleaning up a streaker at the Gabba in 2008. Photo: Getty Images

McGuirk maintained he was comfortable with the level of consultation given to the players, despite the chorus of disapproval. ''We felt it was important that we properly consulted the playing group,'' McGuirk said. ''The research committee thought it was best to go through the association, and that process had to be formal as well. We were comfortable with that process.''

The report did not recommend that the shoulder charge be banned. ''The players and the clubs were given the opportunity to present their information,'' Canavan said. ''But this was a research-based review, therefore evidence was found and findings were presented.''

Opinions had been sought from medical staff, sports scientists and with the NRL Competition Committee, which included Wayne Bennett, Daniel Anderson, Brian Smith, Ivan Cleary, Bill Harrigan, Stuart Raper and Darren Lockyer.

Canavan consulted the NZRL, which had banned the shoulder charge domestically in 2006.

''We gave Brian our feedback from our medical council and explained to them that we had had some very positive results from an injury perspective and from [reduced insurance] claims in the domestic game,'' chief executive Jim Doyle said.

McGuirk will now consult the competition committee to finalise proposed rule amendments, which will be put to the commission next month.

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NRL Season 2015

Round 1
Thu, 05 MarTimes shown AEDT
BRI 6 vs SOU 36 Stats
Fri, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
PAR 42 vs MAN 12 Stats
Sat, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
NEW 24 vs NZW 14 Stats
GCT 18 vs WST 19 Stats
NQL 4 vs SYD 28 Stats
Sun, 08 MarTimes shown AEDT
PEN 24 vs CBY 18 Stats
CRO 20 vs CBR 24 Stats
Mon, 09 MarTimes shown AEDT
STG 4 vs MEL 12 Stats
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Round 2
Fri, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
CBY 32 vs PAR 12 Stats
CRO 2 vs BRI 10 Stats
Sat, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
PEN 40 vs GCT Stats
MAN 24 vs MEL 22 Stats
NQL 14 vs NEW 16 Stats
Sun, 15 MarTimes shown AEDT
SOU 34 vs SYD 26 Stats
CBR 6 vs NZW 18 Stats
Mon, 16 MarTimes shown AEDT
WST 22 vs STG 4 Stats
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Round 3
Fri, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
MAN 12 vs CBY 16 Stats
BRI 44 vs NQL 22 Stats
Sat, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
NZW 29 vs PAR 16 Stats
CBR 20 vs STG 22 Stats
MEL 36 vs CRO 18 Stats
Sun, 22 MarTimes shown AEDT
SOU 20 vs WST 6 Stats
GCT 18 vs NEW 20 Stats
Mon, 23 MarTimes shown AEDT
SYD 20 vs PEN 12 Stats
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Round 4
Fri, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
PAR 29 vs SOU 16 Stats
Sat, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
NEW 26 vs PEN 14 Stats
CRO 22 vs GCT 24 Stats
STG 12 vs MAN 4 Stats
Sun, 29 MarTimes shown AEDT
NZW 16 vs BRI 24 Stats
SYD 34 vs CBR 6 Stats
Mon, 30 MarTimes shown AEDT
NQL 18 vs MEL 17 Stats
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Round 5
Fri, 03 AprTimes shown AEDT
CBY 17 vs SOU 18 Stats
GCT 16 vs BRI 26 Stats
Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
MAN 16 vs CBR 29 Stats
NEW vs STG 13 Stats
Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
SYD 12 vs CRO 20 Stats
Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
PAR 6 vs WST 22 Stats
MEL 30 vs NZW 14 Stats
PEN 10 vs NQL 30 Stats
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Round 6
Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
BRI 22 vs SYD 18 Stats
Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
PAR 16 vs GCT 38 Stats
NZW 32 vs WST 22 Stats
PEN 22 vs MAN 12 Stats
Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
CBR 10 vs MEL 14 Stats
STG 31 vs CBY 6 Stats
Mon, 13 AprTimes shown AEST
SOU 12 vs NQL 30 Stats
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Round 7
Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
CBY 28 vs MAN 16 Stats
Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
GCT 32 vs PEN 6 Stats
NQL 28 vs NZW 24 Stats
MEL 17 vs SYD 16 Stats
Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
WST 22 vs CBR 30 Stats
NEW 22 vs PAR 28 Stats
Mon, 20 AprTimes shown AEST
CRO 18 vs SOU 10 Stats
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Round 8
Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
CBY 14 vs WST 38 Stats
Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
NZW 28 vs GCT 32 Stats
NEW 24 vs NQL 26 Stats
SYD 12 vs STG 14 Stats
MEL 10 vs MAN 12 Stats
BRI 28 vs PAR 16 Stats
Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
PEN 26 vs CRO 18 Stats
SOU 22 vs CBR 30 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
BRI vs PEN 19:35SUN
Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
CBR vs GCT 15:00GIO Stadium
CRO vs NZW 17:30Remondis Stadium
NQL vs CBY 19:301300 Smiles Stadium
Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
MAN vs NEW 14:00BO
PAR vs MEL 16:00Pirtek Stadium
Mon, 11 MayTimes shown AEST
SOU vs STG 19:00ANZ
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Round 10
Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
CBY vs SYD 19:35ANZ
Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
PAR vs NZW 15:00Pirtek Stadium
GCT vs CRO 17:30Cbus Super Stadium
MEL vs SOU 19:30AAMI
Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
STG vs CBR 14:00WIN
NEW vs WST 16:00HS
Mon, 18 MayTimes shown AEST
MAN vs PEN 19:00BO
View All Fixtures
Round 11
Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
SOU vs PAR 19:45ANZ
Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
WST vs NQL 19:30CSS
Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
CBR vs CBY 16:00GIO Stadium
Mon, 25 MayTimes shown AEST
NEW vs BRI 19:00HS
View All Fixtures
Round 12
Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
PEN vs PAR 19:45Pepper Stadium
Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
GCT vs SOU 15:00Cbus Super Stadium
CBR vs BRI 17:30GIO Stadium
NQL vs MAN 19:301300 Smiles Stadium
Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
NZW vs NEW 14:00MSS
STG vs CRO 16:00Jubilee Oval
Mon, 01 JunTimes shown AEST
SYD vs MEL 19:00AS
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Round 13
Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
BRI vs MAN 19:35SUN
Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
NEW vs CBR 15:00HS
SOU vs NZW 17:30nib Stadium
PEN vs MEL 19:30Pepper Stadium
Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
CRO vs SYD 16:00Remondis Stadium
Mon, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
CBY vs STG 16:00ANZ
PAR vs NQL 19:00Pirtek Stadium
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Round 14
Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
WST vs SOU 19:45ANZ
Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
NZW vs SYD 18:00MSS
Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
GCT vs CBY 16:00Cbus Super Stadium
Mon, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
MEL vs PAR 19:00AAMI
View All Fixtures
Round 15
Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
MAN vs WST 19:45BO
Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
CBR vs NQL 15:00GIO Stadium
GCT vs NZW 17:30Cbus Super Stadium
CBY vs PEN 19:30ANZ
Sun, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
NEW vs CRO 14:00HS
MEL vs BRI 16:00AAMI
Mon, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
STG vs SYD 19:00AS
View All Fixtures
Round 16
Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
BRI vs NEW 19:35SUN
Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
NZW vs CBR 15:00MSS
NQL vs CRO 17:301300 Smiles Stadium
PAR vs STG 19:30Pirtek Stadium
Sun, 28 JunTimes shown AEST
SYD vs GCT 14:00AS
WST vs PEN 16:00VAS
Mon, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
CBY vs MEL 19:00Belmore Sports Ground
View All Fixtures
Round 17
Fri, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
PEN vs SOU 19:45Pepper Stadium
Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
STG vs NQL 19:30WIN
Sun, 05 JulTimes shown AEST
MAN vs CRO 16:00BO
Mon, 06 JulTimes shown AEST
WST vs PAR 19:00ANZ
View All Fixtures
Round 18
Fri, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
CBR vs NEW 19:45GIO Stadium
Sat, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
PEN vs SYD 17:30Pepper Stadium
CBY vs BRI 19:30ANZ
Sun, 12 JulTimes shown AEST
NZW vs MEL 14:00MSS
CRO vs STG 16:00Remondis Stadium
Mon, 13 JulTimes shown AEST
GCT vs MAN 19:00Cbus Super Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 19
Fri, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
PAR vs CBY 19:35ANZ
Sat, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
CBR vs CRO 15:00GIO Stadium
NEW vs GCT 17:30HS
STG vs SOU 19:30SCG
Sun, 19 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD vs NZW 14:00AS
BRI vs WST 16:00SUN
Mon, 20 JulTimes shown AEST
MAN vs NQL 19:00BO
View All Fixtures
Round 20
Fri, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
BRI vs GCT 19:35SUN
Sat, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
NZW vs MAN 15:00MSS
SOU vs NEW 17:30ANZ
MEL vs STG 19:30AAMI
Sun, 26 JulTimes shown AEST
PEN vs CBR 14:00Pepper Stadium
CBY vs CRO 16:00Belmore Sports Ground
Mon, 27 JulTimes shown AEST
NQL vs PAR 19:001300 Smiles Stadium
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Round 21
Thu, 30 JulTimes shown AEST
NZW vs CRO 22:00MSS
Fri, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
NQL vs CBR 00:001300 Smiles Stadium
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Round 22
Thu, 06 AugTimes shown AEST
NZW vs STG 22:00MSS
Fri, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
BRI vs CBY 00:00SUN
PAR vs PEN 00:30TIO
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Round 23
Thu, 13 AugTimes shown AEST
BRI vs STG 00:00SUN
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Round 24
Wed, 19 AugTimes shown AEST
NZW vs NQL 22:00MSS
Thu, 20 AugTimes shown AEST
STG vs PEN 00:00WIN
View All Fixtures
Round 25
Thu, 27 AugTimes shown AEST
PAR vs CRO 00:00Pirtek Stadium
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Round 26
Thu, 03 SepTimes shown AEST
BRI vs MEL 00:00SUN
View All Fixtures
NRL Ladder 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D Pts
St George-Illawarra Dragons 8 6 2 0 12
Brisbane Broncos 8 6 2 0 12
Melbourne Storm 8 5 3 0 10
North Queensland Cowboys 8 5 3 0 10
Wests Tigers 8 4 4 0 8
South Sydney Rabbitohs 8 4 4 0 8
Gold Coast Titans 8 4 4 0 8
Penrith Panthers 8 4 4 0 8
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