sport

ARL to outlaw shoulder charge

The ARL have moved closer to outlawing the shoulder charge with the rule-change expected to be extended around the world.

The ARL Commission has accepted a recommendation to make the shoulder charge illegal from 2013 after reviewing a detailed report which suggested the increased size of athletes has increased the likelihood of injury.

In a press release, the ARL said work had already commenced with England's RFL and other member nations of the Rugby League International Federation with a view to extending the move at all levels of the game on an international basis - New Zealand already has a domestic ban in place.

"This is about reducing a potential risk of serious injury to our players," National Rugby League interim chief executive Shane Mattiske said.

"The Commission has gone through a thorough review process and been public in warning players about the risks of illegal play.

"The report shows that the shoulder charge is not a significant part of the game and its removal is not likely to impact on the way the game is played.

"With the increase in size and strength of the players, we believe this is the time to eliminate a potential risk."