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Leeds Rhinos legend makes furious claim about RFL new tackling laws

Former Leeds Rhinos man Ryan Bailey was incredibly outspoken on the red card for Franklin Pele in the Super League opener.

The RFL has passed a major rule change in the community game that will soon find its way into Super League.

In 2024, tackles above the armpit will be illegal and this will be introduced into Super League and the professional game in 2025.

Many have been critical of the rule including current players such as Mikey Lewis, Oliver Partington, Tyler Dupree and Jordan Turner.

Now Leeds Rhinos legend and former Castleford Tigers and Warrington Wolves prop Ryan Bailey has gotten involved in the discussion on X.

He even suggested that the RFL has introduced this new rule to make more money off fines:

“Wow please stop this. It’s not about player welfare, it’s all about more bans and fines! Money maker, all money players pay for these fines should go to charity instead of into the RFL’s back pocket.”

Bailey had a number of run ins with the disciplinary as a player but this is a bold statement.

This is in contrast to what RFL CEO Tony Sutton said: “We believe they are essential, as Rugby League must respond to developments in medical and scientific knowledge to prioritise the safety of those that play; and also that they offer exciting opportunities to increase the appeal and accessibility of Rugby League, especially at junior and community levels.

“Rugby League will remain a tough, gladiatorial and character-building team sport. But we believe the mandating of tag/touch at the introductory levels – initially Under-6s rising to Under-8s from 2026 – and the reduction in the legal tackle height at all levels from 2025 will place a new emphasis on skill and attacking play, further increasing the appeal of Rugby League both to parents, and to open-age community players.

“On behalf of the RFL, and the sport as a whole, I thank all who have been involved in developing these recommendations, especially Professor Ben Jones and his team at Leeds Beckett University, and my colleagues on the Brain Health Committee.

“We have recognised throughout this process the importance of communication in making such fundamental changes. Stakeholders have been kept informed throughout of the direction of travel, and a number of recent meetings have been held, including with professional coaches and the Community Board.

“Those discussions and explanations will continue throughout the winter ahead of the start of the 2024 season. My plea to all involved in the sport would be to recognise the fundamental importance of our match officials in introducing these changes. That was reinforced by the challenges faced by the group who were involved in the Academy Laws Trials last summer, to which they responded admirably. Next year more than ever, they will all need and deserve our support.”

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