Knights fined for use of 'grip pad'

The National Rugby League has issued all clubs a warning about the use of abrasive ‘grip pads’ after today imposing a fine of $5,000 on the Newcastle Knights for failing to ensure that their players had complied with section 1.22.1 (a) of the Operations Manual regarding playing equipment.

The Manual states that: “A player must not wear any item that may prove dangerous to another player.”

On Saturday night, the arm-strapping worn by Knights player Richard Fa’aoso was deemed responsible for a number of scratches being experienced by Bulldogs players.

Following complaints from the players, the Touch Judge approached the Knights at half-time and the offending material was removed.

The Knights have said that the material was known as a ‘grip pad’ to assist in one-handed ‘carries’ of the football and were unaware of it having caused any harm when worn by players previously.

“It is the responsibility of the clubs and all players to ensure that no item of unapproved apparel is taken on the field and that non-standard or modified equipment must first be approved by the NRL before that item may be used by a player in a match,” NRL Chief Operating Officer, Mr Graham Annesley, said today.

“Referees have been instructed to pay close attention to any taping around the arms for the rest of the season.”