FOLLOWING the Rugby League International Federation’s decision earlier this week to immediately outlaw the shoulder charge from the International Laws of the Game, the RFL has banned the shoulder charge from all domestic competitions with immediate effect.
The RLIF’s ban sees the shoulder charge outlawed for the Rugby League World Cup and PROBIZ World Club Challenge and the RFL’s decision will see the shoulder charge made illegal in all competitions, including Super League, Tetley’s Challenge Cup, Kingstone Press Championships and Northern Rail Cup, as well as community game competitions.
RFL Laws Committee Secretary Blake Solly said: “The RFL believes that player safety is of paramount importance and we are committed to ensuring that our players can compete in the safest possible environment.
“We understand that the shoulder charge is popular with many people in Rugby League, but we also have a duty to manage the welfare and safety of players involved in the game at all levels.
“We have contributed to the RLIF’s discussions about the shoulder charge and whilst we believed the challenge should not be banned, we consider that the RLIF Board have followed the correct process and allowed each member nation to provide a view on the law change.
It is right that the RLIF should have ultimate control over issues such as this, and we remain committed to standardising the Laws of the Game across all nations and competitions.
"We had agreed with the RLIF the option to delay the implementation because we are in season, but the RFL Board has agreed that it is best to immediately implement the ban on the shoulder charge across all domestic competitions.
“We believe this decision will help ensure the future safety of our players whilst not adversely detracting from the on-field excitement of the sport.”