After a contentious hearing in Sydney’s Supreme Court, the NRL’s tribunal heard how the league has been forced to deal with the ongoing controversy surrounding its former governing body.
The ruling is likely to impact the NRL in the short term, with the ruling expected in the coming weeks.
The NRL and Super Rugby agreed in June that there would be no changes to the rules governing the World Cup after a review by a panel of sports lawyers, which found there were “significant” issues with the rules.
But, the court found that the tribunal’s findings “would not necessarily be of an impact in the longer term” as they were “limited in their application”.
The ruling was described by NRL chief executive David Gallop as “extremely disappointing” and “unfair”.
“There was no basis for the majority of the findings in the Tribunal,” Mr Gallop said.
“We’re disappointed that the majority found the rules were not consistent with the requirements of the World Rugby Act.”
He said the NRL would seek to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.
Mr Gallop described the hearing as “incredibly frustrating” and said the process had been “rigorous and thorough”.
“We believe the NRL is entitled to appeal this decision, but we want to be absolutely clear that we will take every opportunity to do so,” he said.
“We have to be able to respond to the decisions of the tribunal.
We don’t need to be subject to a decision that the NRL could not have made.”
The tribunal also rejected the NRL and its board of directors’ argument that it would not be a conflict of interest for them to make the decision.
The hearing heard that the NFL was given an opportunity to appeal before the Supreme, which agreed with the NRL.
But the NRL then asked the Supreme to overturn its decision.
“The NRL had a legal opportunity to intervene in the proceedings before the Tribunal, but the NRL has not been able to do that,” Mr Justice Lott said.
“The Tribunal is entitled not to have any effect on the proceedings.”
Therefore, the Tribunal’s decision in this case is not a review of the Tribunal or of the NRL, but is only a review and decision on the matter.
“The NRL is a member of the Rugby Football League and is part of the Super Rugby competition, but its governing body has a limited role in the World War II era, when it was formed.
Its current head of governance, David Gallops, has been suspended from the NRL following the court ruling.
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