The National Rugby League has today received a detailed briefing from the Sydney Roosters and has supported the club’s moves to suspend Anthony Watts (pending a disciplinary hearing) and Todd Carney (indefinitely).

“Steve Noyce today outlined a disciplinary process in relation to Anthony’s history of misdemeanours which included an issue of violence earlier this year,” NRL Chief Executive, Mr David Gallop, said today.

“It is appropriate that they commence formal proceedings to deal with the issue.

“While it can be tempting for some to judge things from a distance, it is the clubs who are with the players on a daily basis.

“Like any employer, they know the issues of general behaviour and the way events and minor misdemeanours can build, as we saw through Manly’s reaction to Anthony Watmough a couple of weeks ago.

“In Todd Carney’s case, our reaction is clearly a combination of disappointment, anger and sadness.

“To some extent he isn’t accused of anything at the moment other than failing to live up to the goals he set for himself and breaching club rules.

“If he was anyone else it would not rate a mention that he stayed up late while drinking – but that’s a problem he has created.  Our own inquiries support the fact that there were no issues at any of the venues that he was at last weekend.

“However, he told the world he wouldn’t do it and he was always bound to be seen.

“Such a reckless disregard for his undertakings is perhaps the most alarming aspect of his behaviour.

“Whether that was a cry for help or not is for medical experts to determine but it needs to be taken seriously and the club has made it clear to us that that is what they are doing.

“This is sadly a matter of a troubled soul needing expert help. Calls for him to be put in gaol even for a week show a complete lack of compassion for his plight.

“The reports we have received on his progress to date underline the fact that everyone has been making an effort but the level of professional help needs to be lifted and that has been demonstrated today.

“You also can’t solve them by just thinking ‘footy’ will fix it.

“Clearly some time out of football is appropriate and we support the Roosters on that.  It is also a case of being guided by medical experts as to how long that may need to be

“Doctors won’t make that decision on their own but their advice will be seriously considered and we expect the club will continue to consult us about Todd.

“In many ways his life, as well as his career, is on the edge of a precipice and if his consumption of alcohol were to result in genuine anti-social conduct he would be placing a target on his back that nobody will be able to miss.

“At the moment he clearly needs some help and that has to start with the help he is prepared to give himself.”