23 Mar 2009

Bennett calls for independent body to overrule clubs

6:37 am on 23 March 2009

The master rugby league coach Wayne Bennett has called for an independent body to govern the punishment of NRL players for off-field indiscretions,.

Bennett says the time has come for the power to be taken out of the hands of the clubs.

He says the answer to rugby league's recent spate of off field woes is the precedent set in the 1980's and 90's when the .Australian Drug agency was established to deal with drugs in sport.

Already this season the NRL has had to step in to suspend Manly fullback Brett Stewart and Sydney Roosters hooker Jake Friend when their club's had elected to let them keep playing, while Cronulla halfback Brett Seymour was also banned for two games when video footage of his drunken antics became public.