The Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) has approved enhancements to the NRL Judiciary Code which improve and simplify penalties issued in representative, finals series and NRL Telstra Premiership round matches, whilst maintaining the game’s strong stance against on-field misconduct.
The Judiciary Code has been revised to reduce the incidence of representative players being unavailable for home club duty following suspensions in representative matches.
Under the reforms, players competing in representative matches will receive fines for a greater range of Grade One and Two offences than in the NRL Telstra Premiership. Fines for offences will be calculated as a percentage portion of the player’s representative match payment, with each player holding a separate “Representative Judiciary Record” which resets each year.
The retention of match suspensions for more serious and repeat offences, together with fines linked to match payments will ensure a continuing strong deterrent against on-field misconduct. Suspensions will continue to apply across representative and NRL Telstra Premiership matches as usual.
Additionally, the annual All-Stars fixture and other Test matches will be formally recognised as representative matches under the Judiciary Code, permitting players who have been selected, or can establish the likelihood of their selection, to serve suspensions in those matches.
The amendments will be effective from the start of the 2022 Ampol State of Origin Series.
The penalties applying to the NRL Telstra Premiership have been revised to reduce instances where a player misses a finals series match for a minor offence due to their record over the season.
Players who commit a “Third Offence” under the Judiciary Code in a finals series match will be entitled to pay a fine in place of suspension for most offences. Reckless High Tackles of any grade will not be eligible for a fine, and any subsequent offence in finals series will attract the prescribed suspension.