12 Mar 2009

Gallop under fire over league's misbehaviour woes

5:45 am on 12 March 2009

The NRL's chief executive David Gallop has been forced to defend his performance in combating repeated outbreaks of anti-social behaviour by rugby league players.

In the latest in a string of player behaviour scandals, the NRL has suspended Manly's star fullback Brett Stewart from the first four rounds of the competition.

This came after Manly said they would play Stewart in their season-opener against the Bulldogs on Saturday, despite him being charged with the sexual assault of a 17-year-old girl in the hours after Manly's boozy season launch last Friday.

The NRL's suffered numerous drunken player behaviour scandals in Gallop's time at the helm since 2002, despite him implementing a series of programmes aimed at educating players on the responsible consumption of alcohol and the appropriate treatment of women

Gallop is displeased the Sea Eagles board went against his strong advice by naming Stewart in their team to play the Bulldogs on Saturday night.

Gallop may also be accused in some quarters of double standards for not suspending Eagles forward Anthony Watmough, who has been accused of punching a sponsor at the Manly function.