Josh Dugan of the Dragons receives attention after sustaining a head injury in round three.
Josh Dugan of the Dragons receives attention after sustaining a head injury in round three. DAN HIMBRECHTS

NRL suspends concussion fines

THE NRL has suspended more than half of the $350,000 of fines handed down to three clubs for concussion breaches last month.

St George Illawarra and Newcastle will each have $50,000 of their $100,000 fines suspended, while the Gold Coast will only pay $50,000 of its $150,000 fine.

NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg emphasised that the NRL did not question the commitment, integrity or professionalism of medical and training staff.

"We acknowledge the difficult job they face in the modern game and we are exploring ways to provide more support to our medical officers," he said.

The NRL noted that none of the clubs had previously breached the head injury protocols and it had therefore been decided to suspend part of the penalty.

Greenberg said the suspended portion of the fines will only be imposed if the clubs breach the head injury rules again during the next 12 months.

"These penalties are another reminder to all clubs that player safety is vitally important and we will take a tough stand against any breach of the head injury assessment rules," he said.

Greenberg said he was pleased by the game's response since the breach notices were issued.

"All clubs have acted responsibly to remove players from the field for head injury assessments and we hope and expect that will continue," he said.

Greenberg said the three clubs could accept their sanctions or apply to take their cases to the NRL Appeals Committee.

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