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Following a week in which veteran coaches Tim Sheens and Wayne Bennett both weighed into the debate around on field concussions, NRL Daily host Brad ‘Freddy’ Fittler is proposing a rule change that would see the players held accountable for their actions involving contact with the head.
“I believe there is room for the implementation of a points system for contact with the head that runs in line with the judicial points,” says Fittler. “It doesn’t matter how big or how small the resulting points are, I just think there needs to be something in place that holds the players accountable for their actions and also gives them something to think about when they do attempt a high risk defensive play.
“Anytime there is any contact with the head, whether it be from hand, arm, shoulder or head, points could be added to a player, whether it be 10, 20 or 30.
“The hope would be that if there are consequences, no matter the size, players would think twice before going near the head. While there is consequence it will always make players think.”
Fittler is keen to point out that he doesn’t want the game to change. “It’s the big hits that make the game what it is. I just think that we need to get stricter with the consequences surrounding contact with the head.”
While he does not confess to being an expert, Fittler believes the research is clear. “I keep a keen eye on studies with concussion and believe there is too much data from the states and within our game that indicates a link between concussions and a longer lasting effect,” he says. “Chicks may dig scars but that’s not what I am referring to, it’s the long-term side effects of things like migraines and depression that I am most concerned with.”
On tonight's NRL Daily we also preview the Monday night football clash between the Sharks and the Roosters and in the Round 18 weekend wrap-up we take a quick glance towards the finals and to see how each team is currently sitting, as Gibbsy focuses in on the impact of injuries at this time of the season.
Get all this and more in tonight's episode of NRL Daily, the only NRL show that's on every night of the week.
Stream it on the NRL.com homepage from 7:00pm tonight, watch it on the official NRL mobile site (Telstra customers only. Action Pack required. Click here for more details) or Telstra T-BOX. You can also watch the best NRL Daily videos on your iPhone with the official NRL iPhone App (Official Pass required. Click here for more details)