More fine, less suspension in representative football after judicial reform

The NRL season will be less interrupted by a representative schedule, following an announcement by the governing body that the judicial code for non-club games has been amended.

“Under the reform, players competing in representative matches will receive fines for grades one and two offenses rather than the NRL Telstra Premiership,” the NRL said in a statement.

“Penalties for offenses will be calculated as a percentage of the player’s representative match payments. Each player has a separate ‘Representative Judicial Record’ which is reset each year.”

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This means that all players are less likely to miss games for NRL clubs in the next few weeks if they are fouled by officials for their behavior at the State of Origin or International.

Although the NRL says there will be match suspensions for more serious and recurring offenses, an increased penalty means players will be on the field longer than before.

“Additional, annual All-Star fixtures and other Test matches will be officially recognized as representation matches under the Judicial Code, to serve bans on all players who have been selected, or are eligible to be selected,” the statement read.

The new changes will begin with a game in this year’s Origin series, which will take place in Sydney next Wednesday night.

In addition to changes to representative matches, there will now be additional penalties for players missing out on final games for their club.

“Players who commit a ‘third offense’ under a judicial code in a final series match will be liable to a fine rather than a stay for most offenses,” the NRL said.

“Reckless high tackles of any grade will not be eligible for fines, and any subsequent offense in the final series will attract a suspended stay.”

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