REPRESENT: Trent Seeds for Bundaberg Bears against Sunshine Coast Falcons in a 47th Battalion rugby league carnival fixture in May.
REPRESENT: Trent Seeds for Bundaberg Bears against Sunshine Coast Falcons in a 47th Battalion rugby league carnival fixture in May. Kevin Farmer

BRL's proposed rep footy ban against QRL rules

LEAGUE: A push by Bundaberg Rugby League officials to suspend players who withdraw from rep duty for four weeks is against Queensland Rugby League rules.

BRL chairman Mike Ireland proposed players be suspended from club football, starting next year, if they don't commit to the Bundaberg Bears in the 47th Battalion in men, women and under-20.

Ireland, who will serve as chairman for his ninth season after he was re-elected unopposed at last month's AGM, questioned why players play club footy if they didn't want to represent Bundaberg.

Under Ireland's plan, only a doctor's certificate covering an injury or work commitments would allow the player to avoid the extended ban.

It was one of the recommendations to be voted upon at yesterday's general meeting, but it was not constitutional.

The QRL rules state players who withdraw without just cause are to be "suspended immediately for two competition matches for his or her club and he or she may be further suspended, fined, disqualified or dealt with by the QRL or the administration unit”.

When asked if local leagues can introduce extra bans on top of the constitution's two-week immediate suspension, a QRL spokesman said it was a "contradiction of the rules”.

"(Players) can make themselves unavailable for selection. The rules apply to an individual that once selected withdraws without valid reason,” the spokesman said.

"If they are unavailable from the get go that is their choice. If they are selected and withdraw then the exemptions include work or injury.

"Opportunities are given to players in all regions to be part of the rep program at little to no cost to the player, (but) local leagues need to establish their own culture/pride in the rep jersey.”