Todd Greenberg, the CEO of the NRL, has announced the punishments for the clubs and players who have contributed to the NRL’s off season from hell. In addition to Jack de Belin being stood down until after his trial, Dylan Walker, Dylan Napa, Zane Musgrove, Scott Bolton, Shane Flanagan, Justin Pascoe, the Cronulla Sharks and Wests Tigers are all facing sanctions from the governing body.
After a meeting of the Australian Rugby League Commission yesterday policies towards players charged with serious crimes have changed. Any player charged with an offence that could lead to more than 11 years imprisonment will be automatically stood down until the conclusion of their case, while Todd Greenberg has had his power to stand down any other player charged with a crime confirmed.
Jack de Belin, who faces very serious sexual assault charges, was automatically stood down due to this change. Dylan Walker, whose domestic violence charge will be heard in May, was also stood down by Greenberg until his case is concluded. Zane Musgrove, who has signed with Wests Tigers but faces an assault charge, will not have his contract registered by the NRL until the case is concluded.
Scott Bolton, who pled guilty to common assault after his charge was downgraded from sexual assault, has been hit with a 5 week suspension and fined 2.5% of his 2019 salary. He will also have to address the players of every NRL club during Magic Round in Brisbane in May. It is understood that he will show them video footage of his offence, and speak to the players about controlling their behaviour.
Dylan “Big Papi” Napa, who was filmed by teammates having sex with a woman on a club trip to the US, has been fined 10% of his salary but has escaped suspension. Because the videos were filmed several years ago the NRL was lenient, but players have been put on notice that any videos filmed after February 28, 2019 will be met with heavier fines and suspensions.
Shane Flanagan has had his registration canceled after he was found to have contacted the Cronulla Sharks during his 2014 suspension. The Sharks have had their fine for the engagement reduced because their new CEO reported the breach when he became aware of it.
The Sharks also got a $750,000 fine for salary cap breaches – $500,000 suspended because of the self-reporting. They will also be penalised $707,000 from their salary cap, spread across 2019 and 20, and will have to shed James Segeyaro to become compliant.
Justin Pascoe, the Wests Tigers CEO, has been suspended for 6 months (starting in December 2018) for salary cap breaches. The club has had their fine halved, but will have a cap penalty of $639,000 spread over 2019 and 20.