NRL Refuses to Tighten Loophole as Jared Waerea-Hargreaves Gears Up for Explosive Round Onesports,NRL,rugby,JaredWaerea-Hargreaves,loophole,RoundOne
NRL Refuses to Tighten Loophole as Jared Waerea-Hargreaves Gears Up for Explosive Round One

NRL Refuses to Tighten Loophole as Jared Waerea-Hargreaves Gears Up for Explosive Round One

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Sport NRL NRL 2023: NRL Won’t Close Loophole as JWH Firms for Sensational Round One Return

NRL Permanent Loophole Exposed

The NRL has announced that it will not close the loophole that allows players to include international Test matches as part of their NRL suspension. This decision has caused controversy as Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (JWH) looks set to return for the Sydney Roosters in round one of the 2024 season despite being banned for seven matches due to two separate offences in a previous match with the Wests Tigers.

The system’s loopholes are allowing JWH, who missed the Roosters’ finals campaign, to take advantage of the situation. He was named in New Zealand’s Pacific Championships squad despite having four weeks left of his ban to serve and no chance of playing in the tournament. Even if he had been available, JWH would have been on the fringes of the Kiwi Test team, given the presence of other prominent players.

Lack of Fairness and Integrity

The concept of fairness and integrity in the NRL is being questioned with the revelation that players can be selected for Test matches even when suspended and clearly unavailable to play. The ambiguity surrounding this issue is highlighted by the fact that Waerea-Hargreaves would have been well down the Kiwis’ front-row pecking order and was not guaranteed to feature in the Pacific Championships.

New Zealand Rugby League CEO, Greg Peters, understands the frustration that fans may have with this loophole but insists that both Waerea-Hargreaves and Sebastian Kris would have been selected for the Kiwi team if not for their suspensions. Peters also acknowledges that the current rule needs to be genuine but believes that players should not have to serve their entire ban in the NRL. He uses the example of a player getting banned for six weeks during a Test match, which would then take two years to serve because of the limited number of international games.

ARLC Chairman’s Perspective

ARLC Chairman, Peter V’landys, has stated that the controversial rule will remain, relying on nations’ honesty when it comes to selecting suspended players for international matches. V’landys believes that missing a Test match is a bigger penalty than missing an NRL game, as players not only miss out on representing their country but also on match payments. He acknowledges that if the rule is abused, it would need to be reviewed, but at present, there are no plans for change.

Lack of Clarity and Responsibility

One point of contention is that the NRL judiciary chairman, Geoff Bellew, holds the power to decide if representative matches can be included as part of an NRL ban, rather than the NRL or ARLC themselves. This raises questions about responsibility and clarity regarding the decision-making process. Whether this power should be consolidated within the governing bodies is a matter that should be addressed in order to maintain transparency and consistency.

Editorial and Advice

The NRL‘s decision to maintain the loophole allowing players to include Test matches as part of their suspension raises concerns about fairness and integrity in the sport. While there may be arguments for flexibility in serving suspensions, the current system seems to undermine the principle of just punishment and equitable competition.

The New Zealand Rugby League’s insistence that suspended players would have been selected highlights the subjective nature of player selection and raises questions about the criteria used to support their claims. The NRL should work towards creating transparent guidelines and criteria for player selection during suspensions to avoid any perception of bias or manipulation.

For the overall integrity of the NRL and to ensure a level playing field, the governing bodies should review and address the current rule. It is essential to strike a balance between allowing players to represent their countries without penalties that are disproportionate to NRL games missed, while also maintaining the integrity of the competition and fair treatment for all teams.

Moreover, the responsibility for making decisions regarding these matters should lie with the NRL or ARLC, rather than being delegated to the judiciary chairman. Consolidating this power within the governing bodies will ensure consistency and avoid potential conflicts of interest.

While international Test matches hold great significance for players, representing their country should not come at the expense of fair competition. The NRL and ARLC must take proactive steps to reassess the loophole and implement necessary changes to preserve the integrity of the sport.


NRL Refuses to Tighten Loophole as Jared Waerea-Hargreaves Gears Up for Explosive Round One
<< photo by CHUTTERSNAP >>
The image is for illustrative purposes only and does not depict the actual situation.

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