NRL stiffens rules on shoulder charge ban
The NRL has removed a loophole in its ban on the shoulder charge - which has been expanded to cover any incidental contact with the head as a result of the spectacular tackle.
The NRL's ban on the dangerous hit had seemingly missed the mark when Manly's Richie Fa'aoso successfully challenged the grading of a dangerous contact charge earlier this year.
Fa'aoso was charged after the whiplash effect of his hit on Gold Coast's Ashley Harrison caused the Titans back-rower to be knocked out.
Until now, there was no provision to charge a player unless the shoulder made direct contact with the head or neck of an opponent.
The amendment includes incidents where there is forceful contact from a shoulder charge between any part of the tackling player's body and the head of the tackled player or where the shoulder charge results in the forceful movement of, or the impact to, the head or neck.
"The banning of the shoulder charge was an important statement about the (ARL) Commission's focus on player safety and a significant rule change," NRL general manager of football operations Nathan McGuirk said.
"We continue to monitor the effectiveness of the rules in ensuring that shoulder charges are no longer a part of the game and this change is a part of that process."