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Geoff Toovey says NRL stars need to take ‘responsibility and accountability’

Former NRL coach Geoff Toovey has called for NRL players to take some “responsibility and accountability” over their behaviour and use of smartphones.

It comes after Penrith Panther Tyrone May was the third person stood down under the NRL’s new ‘no fault’ policy meaning he will not play rugby league until the conclusion of his court case.

New South Wales Police charged May with two counts of recording intimate images without consent as well as two counts of disseminating image without consent.

With 17 scandals to have rocked the code already this off-season, Toovey says it’s time for players to start standing up and behaving themselves.

“You get a group of 30 people times 16 out there in society and there’s going to be some issues,” Toovey said.

“And in saying that, you can’t pass the bucket anymore you need to take responsibility.

“And that starts with some leadership from some senior players.

“You see minor things falling apart at training, if you knock them over the head there they tend not to transgress into bigger or dangerous things outside of football.”

NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said the code would be coming down hard on any videos seen to damage the game and anything date stamped from the announcement would incur significant penalties, including suspension.

That was after Canterbury recruit Dylan Napa was fined 10 percent of his 2019 salary following the publication of multiple lewd videos which featured him.

Toovey said players need to be mindful of the effects of using technology and smartphones.

“I remember Federal Police coming out saying ‘do not send anything on social media that you don’t want your grandmother to see’,” Toovey said

“Players going round on their phones and taping themselves is out of control.

“The other side of that is that Mitchell Pearce was out and taped by someone else and that was released.

“You’ve just got to be responsible whether it’s your phone, whether you’re out in the community, it needs to be reinforced and absolutely knocked on the head and understand what’s going wrong.”

May will face on court on May 1.


Click ‘play’ to hear the full interview below.