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Ex-Hull KR star concerned about the precedent set by controversial suspension decision

Once upon a time, Clint Newton was a hero to the Hull KR fans.

A hero at Craven Park, he was at the core of the Robins best ever side back in 2009 as they finished in the top four.

A USA international, he also starred in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup and with his work rate, power, and his tendency to find a way to score, he was certainly a hero off the pitch.

Nowadays, he probably is a hero off the pitch to certain people and oddly to his fellow players.

This is because he is President of the Rugby League Players Association meaning he often stands up for the players and their needs in a world when they are sometimes neglected in favour of commercial benefit.

Take his recent opposition to the notion of a transfer window in the NRL for example.

Now though, the former back-row has raised his concerns over the controversial suspension of Taylan May.

The Penrith man was suspended for off-field antics and thus did not have to serve the suspension during the NRL play-offs with it being delayed for the start of the 2023 NRL season.

This irked many fans at the time who believed it was unfair especially when the likes of Tom Burgess picked up bans on the field and were forced to miss vital play-off game.

It was a decision that Peter V’Landys described at the time as “for the fans.”

Newton has now had his say according to Zerotackle and Daily Telegraph and has no major problem with the decision but is worried about the precedent it could set and wants it built into the system if this is something the NRL wants to consider using more in the future.

He said: “Clearly there were varied views on the outcome of Taylan May’s sanction.

“For Taylan and Penrith it was a good result.

“But it does raise the question of how that discretion can be applied consistently to other breaches.

“Can players now nominate the timing of when they serve their suspension?

“If so, that is great, but let’s embed that in the system if that is the case.”

It is understood that the integrity unit which put in place this ban is under scrutiny as Newton’s RLPA negotiate their latest deal with the NRL.

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