sport

RFL give protection for players

The RFL are to offer more protection to players this year by handing out stiffer punishment for shoulder charges and "cannonball" tackles.

The RFL's match-review panel will cite players for any shoulder charge that makes contact with an opponent's head. In the past players have avoided punishment by claiming contact was unintentional or incidental.

Officials are also increasing the severity of the "cannonball" tackle in which a defender makes contact with the leg of an opponent who is already tackled and in a vulnerable position.

The amendments to the sentencing guidelines will be introduced for the 2014 First Utility Super League and Kingstone Press Championships seasons.