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Hill confident on player discipline

Hill confident on player discipline

Fri, Oct 13, 2017 - 03:30PM
By ‌Alicia Newton‌‌, ‌NRL.com

Rugby League World Cup CEO Andrew Hill is confident players will abide by international rule changes for the tournament.

Along with NRL players reverting back to a one-referee system, the other notable difference is the subject of punching. 

There has been a mandatory sin-binning for a player who throws a punch in the NRL since 2013, with the number of brawls dropping significantly as a result.

However under international guidelines, each incident is taken on an individual merit and judged accordingly on-field - not immediately resulting in a sin-binning or send-off. 

"The match officials can still use the sin bin. I don't think that there will be any real difference for the players," Hill said on Friday. 

"I don't think they are going to go into the game with any different view. This isn't the only game that is played under international rules. So I'm sure the 130-odd NRL players participating won't change their game for the World Cup."

England forward Sam Burgess threw a punch at David Klemmer during the Four Nations tournament in 2016 that left the Australian prop with a split above his eye.

The incident would have earned Burgess an immediate 10-minute spell on the sidelines in the NRL and would have come under scrutiny with the match review committee, but the Rabbitohs lock-forward was given a reprieve. 

"I think the players are very disciplined," Hill said.

"They know what to expect. And if the referee needs to take action and sin-bin, they're entitled to do that and I'm sure they will.

"I'm certainly not expecting any major ill-discipline from the players. And I'm happy to tell all the nations that if there is, the referee will take the right cause of action."

Hill was on hand to join a classroom of children from Crown Street Public School to launch Rugby League Reads – an educational magazine for students to learn about players ahead of the tournament. 

"One of the challenges teachers and parents have got is to engage young primary school kids in a reading and numeracy program," Hill said.

"It's a national program, schools have the opportunity through the NRL to order these booklets. It's something different and engaging.

"Rugby League comes up with some great initiatives and in this case we're teaching boys and girls to read through rugby league."

Hill was adamant the tournament will provide rugby league fans with the best entertainment seen in the international arena. 

"I'm proud the World Cup can play a role in people's lives," Hill said.

"It's a wonderful opportunity for primary school students – it only comes around every four years and the next two World Cups will be overseas.

"I encourage parents to take their children to see a game, whether it be in Sydney where Australia host Lebanon or for any other game in the tournament."

 

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