The RFL has announced five new additions to Rugby League’s independent disciplinary panel – including ex-St Helens star Leon Pryce.
Former internationals Pryce, Alan Hunte, and Gemma Walsh, and ex-England Women’s Rugby League Head Coach Chris Chapman, are joined by the experienced barrister Sean Smith.
Disciplinary and appeals tribunals are chaired by a practising or retired judge, lawyer or other such legal practitioner, assisted by two panel members experienced in the game. They operate independently of the RFL, and receive referrals from the RFL’s Match Review Panel in respect of on-field matters and from the RFL’s compliance team in respect of off-field matters.
Panels have the power to determine whether a misconduct offence has been committed or whether an appeal should be upheld, and to decide appropriate sanctions in accordance with the game’s Operational Rules.
All new members have completed the requisite training, including observing the deliberations of recent tribunals, and will now be added to the panel rota in the coming weeks.
RFL Chief Regulatory Officer, Karen Moorhouse, says: “Panel members bring experience, independence and impartiality to the application of the game’s Operational Rules, and play a vital role in protecting the integrity of the game.
“The latest additions to the panel are five outstanding individuals who complement the strong, existing roster.
“The panel is further strengthened by those with specific expertise within the women’s game, as these panels now also now hear cases from the Women’s Super League.”
The appointments follow an open application process for new side members which began in March this year. Applicants were asked to demonstrate experience of playing, coaching or officiating at either Super League, Championship, League 1 or Women’s Super League (or equivalent) levels, and a good technical knowledge of the game.
The complete list of panel members is as follows:
HHJ Christopher Batty , HHJ Guy Kearl QC, Sean Smith, HHJ Roger Thomas QC , HHJ Sarah Wright
Russell Bridge, Chris Chapman, Wilf George, Graeme Hallas, Jon Hamer, Alan Hunte, Adrian Morley, Leon Pryce, Andy Raleigh, Danny Sculthorpe, Neil Turley, Kathryn Vereycken, Gemma Walsh