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RFL issue response to proposed Super League player strike

Franklin Pele is sent off

In a week where there’s been a huge reaction to the on and off-field disciplinary decisions, many of which have been criticised by current players, the RFL have affirmed that support for both players and match officials is a priority.

On Monday, the RFL’s Match Review Panel has revealed the charges for Round One of the Betfred Super League season.

Hull FC’s Franklin Pele was hit with a lengthy ban ahead of the tribunal for his red card against Hull KR after his swinging arm led to his dismissal. Catalans Dragons’ Michael McIlorum is also facing a long term ban for his red card against Warrington Wolves. Castleford Tigers’ Liam Watts, like McIlorum, received four games.

The RFL has explained that recommended punishments are included for offences graded A-D, with players and their clubs able to challenge at an Operational Rules Tribunal on Tuesday evening. For charges of Grade E and F, the player is required to appear at an ORT on Tuesday evening.

With the RFL having strong cases against all three Grade E charges, it was no surprise that thet received bans which took the total up to 12 players banned after one round.

This led to talk from Rugby League Live that players may actually go on strike in response to this.

RFL responds to talk of Super League strike

Super League trophy

Serious About Rugby League contacted the RFL over the possibility of this strike and an RFL spokesperson stated: “The lines of communication are always open with players and their representatives.”

They would go further than this and address the comments of Alex Walmsley who called for a more powerful players union before the disciplinary was released in relation to the number of cards in Round One of the season.

The RFL spokesperson said: “Alex is an experienced and respected international player, and we’ve already had positive dialogue with him. We will continue to do all we can to support players and match officials as they come to terms with the new landscape. ”

Where this will all lead remains to be seen but it feels like a pivotal moment in the season.



  1. Richard Huddart

    February 22, 2024 at 3:35 pm

    the players mood was not helped by decision not to ban a wigan player received for a spear tackle which is a lot worse than a punch or a stiff arm

  2. John w french

    February 23, 2024 at 10:28 am

    it just isn’t happening in super league there are other divisions that bad decisions are been made

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