20 Mar 2009

NRL clamps down on alcohol

11:18 am on 20 March 2009

The National Rugby League has declared war on alcohol after mounting pressure from major sponsors, fans and the federal government for repeated indiscretions by intoxicated footballers.

Following last week's four-week suspension of Manly's Brett Stewart, Cronulla's Brett Seymour and Sydney Roosters hooker Jake Friend have also been banned from playing for alcohol-fuelled misdemeanours.

Seymour has been fined 20 thousand dollars and stood down for two weeks by his club after footage of his behaviour last Sunday while intoxicated was brought to Cronulla's attention.

Friend was fined 10 thousand dollars by the Roosters for a high-range drink-driving charge on Tuesday with the NRL board deciding via teleconference to also impose a two-week ban on the 19-year-old.

The message from NRL chief executive David Gallop was simple: enough is enough.

He says put simply, their stakeholders are tired of headlines that involve their players and the abuse of alcohol.

Gallop says it's a wake-up call to everyone that if they come to the game's attention for an alcohol-fuelled incident then they'll look very closely at the action your club has taken and whether the damage to the game warrants action by the NRL as well.