Rodwell calls for NRL contracts review - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Rodwell calls for NRL contracts review

By Steve Jancetic 09/04/2008 07:03:22 PM Comments (0)

Rugby League Players' Association boss Matthew Rodwell has called for a review of the contract clause which could have seen Cronulla slap prop Ben Ross with a fine of over $100,000 as a result of his seven-game NRL suspension.

A board meeting of the Sharks on Tuesday night opted against fining either Ross or club captain Paul Gallen after both were banned by the NRL judiciary for on-field indiscretions.

Gallen has served one game of a three-match ban for massaging the face of Gold Coast backrower Anthony Laffranchi while Ross is two games into a seven-match suspension following his late and high tackle on Melbourne playmaker Cooper Cronk.

Rodwell said standard NRL playing contracts included a clause by which clubs could fine players who are suspended, the going rate being 1/26th of their annual income for each game.

With Ross believed to be on a $400,000 a year deal at the Sharks, the former Queensland Origin prop would have been facing a penalty in excess of $100,000 on top of the seven games he has been forced to sit out.

"It's really disproportionate to the work that they do as a rugby league player," Rodwell said.

"It needs addressing because a player is involved in so much more than the 26 weeks in which they play the game.

"It appears that the Sharks management and board have taken that into account which is very pleasing."

It is believed several board members were keen to fine the pair, but they were also aware of the dangerous precedent the move could have set and the need to keep a harmonious environment around the club.

Rodwell said he couldn't remember a player being fined for similar on-field incidents, with those sanctions normally reserved for off-field.

The players' association boss was hopeful of having the clause reviewed when the collective bargaining agreement was next up for discussion.

"As we progress it's something that we'll look at addressing the next time we have an opportunity," he said.

"If the clubs think it needs to exist it needs to be proportionate to the player's role as a professional footballer instead of 1/26th."

Neither Gallen, Ross nor Sharks chief executive Tony Zapia were available for comment, the club saying it had closed the door on the issue and moved on.

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