The National Rugby League has this afternoon endorsed the actions of the Cronulla Sharks in standing down Brett Seymour over an off-field incident and has also suspended Sydney Roosters player Jake Friend for two matches.<br><br>Cronulla earlier today indicated its intention to stand Seymour down for two weeks and to fine him $20,000.<br><br>While acknowledging that the Roosters have treated the matter of Jake Friend with the utmost seriousness, the Board is of the view that a suspension is also appropriate under the Code of Conduct.<br><br>"Those few players who risk the reputations of everyone else in the game need to understand that the ‘stakes’ in this area have risen considerably," National Rugby League Chief Executive, Mr David Gallop, said today.<br><br>"It is a fact that everyone is going to have to come to terms with. <br><br>"It is always going to be hard for clubs and coaches to stand players down but that now has to be accepted as a realistic outcome in these situations. It has always been possible that a player’s team will suffer if he gets himself in trouble.<br><br>"The game’s sponsors are certainly nearing the point where they have had enough and so too have the fans.<br><br>"Every instance has to be and will be looked at on its merits. There are going to be circumstances that differ in each case and the NRL will consider those differences in reaching any view.<br><br>"That is why we strongly believe that the clubs should have the option of taking the first action in an event and that they should be given the opportunity to report on that action.<br><br>"Going forward we propose working with the clubs to develop a more consistent approach from them in terms of the actions that they take."
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