sport

RFL enforce shoulder charge ban

The shoulder charge will be banned from Super League with immediate effect after the RFL decided to follow the lead set by Australia.

The Australian Rugby League Commission outlawed the controversial tackle at the end of last year while New Zealand already had a ban in place in its domestic competition.

The RFL decided in December to keep the shoulder charge until a full consultation process had been undertaken but their hand was forced on Monday night when the International Federation agreed to extend the ban worldwide, starting with Friday's World Club Challenge in Leeds and incorporating the end-of-season World Cup.

The RFL, who were outvoted by their southern hemisphere counterparts, could have delayed changing the rule for their domestic competitions until the end of the season but decided, for the sake of uniformity, to introduce the ban in Super League and the Championships from this weekend.

RFL laws committee secretary Blake Solly said: "We understand that the shoulder charge is popular with many people in rugby league but we also have a duty to manage the welfare and safety of players involved in the game at all levels.

"We have contributed to the RLIF's discussions about the shoulder charge and, whilst we believed the challenge should not be banned, we consider that the RLIF board have followed the correct process and allowed each member nation to provide a view on the law change.

"It is right that the RLIF should have ultimate control over issues such as this, and we remain committed to standardising the laws of the game across all nations and competitions."