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The Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) met today for the final time in 2018, with several items on the agenda ahead of 2019.

Leading discussions was a briefing on recent reports of assault and violence against women.

The Commission, together with the NRL, reiterated that the game will continue to take a strong stance to combat violence against women.

The Commission agreed as a priority, to ensure that appropriate action is being taken across the game to deal with recent instances of violence against women.

Chairman Peter Beattie said an audit would be undertaken of the steps currently taken by club leaders to combat violence against women to ensure they are adequate.  A report will be provided to the Commission in the New Year.

Mr Beattie said Commissioner Professor Megan Davis will also lead an audit of the current education and wellbeing programs focussed on the prevention of violence against women, provided by the NRL, clubs and community partners.

In relation to player agents, the Commission congratulated the NRL, RLPA and player agents after agreement was reached on a new agent accreditation scheme.

The new scheme will be overseen by a board, featuring representatives from the NRL, RLPA and player agents.

The RLPA will be responsible for the management and administration of the scheme, whilst the NRL will be responsible for the rules and any disciplinary processes.

The ARLC also approved a number of rule changes for the 2019 NRL Telstra Premiership season, including a reduction to the scrum and drop-out clocks and approval on a smoother sin-bin or send-off process.

ARLC Chairman, Peter Beattie said the major reforms were important advancements for the game and would directly benefit a series of stakeholders, including players, clubs, agents and fans.

"These are important announcements that ensure our game develops and improves," Mr Beattie said.

NRL Chief Executive, Todd Greenberg agreed, saying it was critical to continue the advancement of Rugby League both on and off the field.

Further details on the 2019 season rule amendments will be provided in a separate release.

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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