The NRL have continued their crackdown on player behaviour, with Dylan Napa and Scott Bolton the latest players to be issued sanctions by the game’s governing body.
The NRL will fine Bulldogs recruit Napa 10 per cent of his 2019 salary following the publication of several lewd videos featuring to former Roosters hard man.
Cowboys veteran Scott Bolton has been suspended for 10 weeks and – and 5 per cent of his 2019 salary – after pleading guilty in January to common assault involving a woman last year.
NRL boss Todd Greenberg said he hoped the NRL would never go through a day like today again – with so many sanctions being issued.
“Hopefully the action we have taken over the last two days will act as a reminder to every player in our game to make the right choices and ensure they do not bring the game into disrepute,” Greenberg said.
The NRL revealed in a media release that Napa would not be suspended because his behaviour involved a historical incident with the videos dating back five years and due to the player’s incorrect assumption that the material would not reach a broader audience.
However the NRL has warned that any video damaging to the game which is filmed and date stamped from today will incur significant penalties, including suspension.
Meanwhile Bolton’s penalty has been halved, if the North Queensland forward agrees to address the captains and senior players of all other teams during this year’s Magic Round in Brisbane in May.
The Cowboys have indicated Bolton has agreed to the proposal.
“Scott Bolton joined the Cowboys as a 16-year-old and has had an impeccable record over his 13-year, 229 NRL game Cowboys career,” Cowboys CEO Jeff Reibel said.
“Given Scott’s standing in our club, his status as a life member and his unblemished record, it is with reluctance that we accept the five-match ban and associated sanctions.
“Scott has the utmost respect of his teammates and peers and will continue to be supported by the club.”
Bulldogs Chief Executive Andrew Hill has responded to the sanction handed down to Dylan Napa by the NRL.
“After working closely with the NRL through this whole process, the club has accepted the sanction handed down to Dylan and we will now look to draw a line under the matter and move forward,” Hill said.
“As a club we are committed to making sure that we uphold the principles of respect and integrity towards the game and by doing so make our members and fans proud.”
The sanctions to Napa and Bolton come on the back of the decisions to stand down Dragons star Jack de Belin and manly centre Dylan Walker as they fight separate cases in court.
Under the NRL’s new “no fault” stand down policy the NRL will impose a three-month stand-down period on the Manly centre, which will run past his next court appearance on May 10.
Dragons forward de Belin has been stood down from club and representative football, while he fights sexual assault charges.
Under the new “no fault” policy, players charged with criminal offences that can result in jail time of 11 years or more will be immediately stood down without consideration.
Published by Msark St John, 1st March 2019 on foxsports.com.au