The Rugby League Players’ Association (RLPA) commends the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles (MWSE) for commissioning an integrity review by advisor Ray Murrihy.
Mr Murrihy was appointed by the Club in June to undertake a comprehensive review of the Club’s integrity framework and the RLPA has now had the opportunity to consider the Report.
The RLPA welcomes and supports the majority of the findings set out in the Report, particularly recommendations 1 - 4 and 6 - 7 in relation to:
- increasing the “face to face” education delivered to Players and support personnel;
- the establishment of Integrity Sub-Committees within Club governance structures;
- CCTV coverage of appropriate areas at training facilities and playing venues;
- appropriate accreditation and access protocols restricting entry into change rooms prior to each Game; and
- the development of information management protocols to safeguard against the deliberate or reckless release of inside information.
The RLPA believes that establishing best practice in these areas across the Game will significantly mitigate against the threat of integrity related issues.
The Players’ Association is also open to finding a practical solution to managing the risks around inside information being deliberately or recklessly leaked via mobile phone devices being used in the lead up to, or during, Games as identified under recommendation 5 of the Report. We look forward to discussing this area further with the NRL and Clubs.
With respect to recommendation 8 in relation to the NRL’s investigative powers being extended to require any participant to produce upon demand all phones, electronic devices and computers and any other records, RLPA CEO Ian Prendergast states:
“The RLPA believes the education and empowerment of Players and support staff is critical to safeguarding against the risks of corruption.
"We are open to working with the NRL and Clubs on ways to improve the approach going forward in this area.
"However, any proposals to broaden the powers of governing bodies in sport needs to take into consideration the fundamental rights of athletes.
"Additional investigative powers should also be balanced with investing further in Players and Officials as people based on the expectations of them in their roles. It is critical that they are empowered to make ethical decisions and seek help before the issue has an impact on the integrity of the Game."