League clubs to fo­cus on con­duct

The Weekend Post - - Sport -

STEVE ZEMEK NRL boss Todd Green­berg has de­liv­ered a plea to clubs to help clean up the game’s im­age af­ter an off-sea­son dom­i­nated by a con­stant stream of bad pub­lic­ity.

Rugby league has re­ceived a string of black eyes af­ter a dis­as­trous few months dur­ing which the game has found it­self on the front and back pages all too of­ten for all the wrong rea­sons.

Green­berg ap­pealed to all 16 teams dur­ing Thurs­day’s meet­ing with club CEOs and chairs at Rugby League Cen­tral and re­minded them of their re­spon­si­bil­i­ties to the game.

“I would be neg­li­gent if I didn’t raise it, hav­ing the two lead­ers of ev­ery club in the room,” Green­berg said.

“I urged, en­cour­aged and re­minded them there’s a an onus on all us in the game to make sure we be­have and make good de­ci­sions.

“I’d also re­mind you there are 500 play­ers that by and large do a phe­nom­e­nal amount of work in our com­mu­ni­ties and a ma­jor­ity do the right things.

“I’m very proud to lead rugby league, I’m very proud of our play­ers but some­times they make bad choices and there are big con­se­quences that go with that.”

Green­berg’s mes­sage was timely, given that shortly af­ter he is­sued his plea St Ge­orge Illawarra back-rower Jack de Belin was charged with the al­leged ag­gra­vated sex­ual as­sault of a 19-year-old woman.

On Mon­day, for­mer Kan­ga­roos, NSW and Par­ra­matta player Jar­ryd Hayne ap­peared in court and in­di­cated he will plead not guilty to the al­leged sex­ual as­sault of a woman in the Hunter Val­ley on Septem­ber 30.

The fol­low­ing day Manly cen­tre Dy­lan Walker ap­peared in court charged with the al­leged com­mon as­sault and as­sault oc­ca­sion­ing bod­ily harm of his part­ner.

Walker’s lawyer said he in­tends to plead not guilty.

Wests Tigers for­ward Liam Mus­grove and Pen­rith re­serve grade player Liam Cole­man will ap­pear in court in Jan­uary, charged with a string of of­fences re­lated to the al­leged in­de­cent as­sault of a woman at a Syd­ney ho­tel.

Green­berg would not com­ment on mat­ters be­fore the court but ac­cepted there had been a whirl­wind of bad pub­lic­ity.

The Cronulla salary cap in­ves­ti­ga­tion, Aus­tralian skip­per Greg Inglis be­ing stood down and plead­ing guilty to drink driv­ing of­fences and Can­ter­bury’s Mad Mon­day scan­dal have also all proven to be dam­ag­ing to the game’s over­all rep­u­ta­tion.

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