Peter Beattie all but confirms new ARLC policy for player behaviour issue
Australian Rugby League Commission Chairman (ARLC) Peter Beattie has told Macquarie Sports Radio Halftime the behaviour of the code’s star players is likely to force a change in policy over player behaviour by the ARLC.
The commission will meet on Thursday to address what has been an off-season to forget for Beattie, rugby league and NRL CEO Todd Greenberg who’ve had to deal with incident after incident involving misbehaving players.
Since the 2018 NRL season concluded, there’s been up to 15 off-field scandals which have rocked the code in the last three months with a number of high profile players all involved.
And it all came to a head again last week when Jack de Belin’s court case was adjourned with the 27-year-old cleared to take to the field despite the alleged charges hanging on him.
It’s divided the rugby league community with many calling for de Belin to be stood down for his alleged actions including rugby league immortal Mal Meninga.
Beattie says calls are growing louder for a change in policy.
“The policy needs changing,” Beattie said.
“I’ve indicated that Mal Meninga is someone that the commission respect, what we determine will still be debated next Thursday.
“Clearly I’m saying is that we need to be clear, we need to have a policy that everyone understands so that going forward no one can say I didn’t know the rules.
“Part of that issue is to get not only just fairness, but also equality across the rules so they are applied evenly.
“He (Mal) is someone who’s view we’ll take into account along with every one of the clubs Chairs.
“We want to hear everyone’s views and we’ll make a decision Thursday.
“There’s overwhelming support for change and the full messages I’ll convey to the commission next week.”
A number of club Chairs and CEOs have already called on the NRL to take action over de Belin’s case with the St George Illawarra and New South Wales forward in doubt to line up in round one – over fears to the reputation of the game.
It’s been a summer full of alleged drunken incidents, assaults, domestic violence and the leaking of lewd videos.
Beattie and Greenberg has had enough and has made it clear he will not be tolerating poor behaviour and that there will be consequences for those who misbehave.
Ben Barba was the latest to cop the full brunt of it, sacked after an alleged incident involving partner Ainslie Currie, effectively ending his career in the sport.
Beattie says our players need to stand up and start changing their actions.
“An incredible amount of damage,” Beattie said.
“There’s no point saying anything else, they are very damaging.
“They affect our support amongst fans – particularly fans who have been around the game a long time.
“Women – we’re trying to grow their support for the game and they affect our corporate sponsors before because sponsors want to support a game that is wholesome and one they can have an identity in.
“Anyone who suggests this off field behaviour and circumstances hasn’t damaged the game is not being truthful.”
Click ‘play’ to hear the full interview below.