Friend suspended for two weeks by NRL - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Friend suspended for two weeks by NRL

19/03/2009 07:54:51 PM Comments (0)

The NRL board has decided to suspend Sydney Roosters hooker Jake Friend for two weeks after he was charged with a high-range drink-driving offence.

Friend was previously fined $10,000 by his club but after a teleconference by the NRL board, it was decided to increase the penalty on the 19-year-old.

He joins Manly's Brett Stewart and Cronulla's Brett Seymour in being stood down after alcohol-related incidents.

Stewart copped a four-match ban for being drunk at his team's season launch while Seymour was on Thursday banned for two games and fined $20,000 for public drunkenness last Sunday by his club.

NRL chief executive David Gallop said the decision showed a line had been drawn when it came to punishing players who misbehave when under the influence of alcohol.

"Those few players who risk the reputation of everyone else in the game need to understand that the stakes in this area have risen considerably," Gallop said.

"It is always going to be hard for clubs and coaches to stand players down but that now has to be accepted as a realistic outcome in these situations.

"The game's sponsors are certainly nearing the point where they have had enough and so too have the fans.

"Going forward we propose working with the clubs to develop a more consistent approach from them in terms of the actions that they take."

The NRL endorsed Cronulla's sanctions on Seymour by not adjusting either his suspension or fine.

The Roosters have accepted the decision but say they believe the penalty imposed earlier in the week was in the best interests of the player and the code.

Ben Jones will replace Friend on the bench for Sunday's game against Canberra.

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