Coaches urged to be mindful of their language during live TV games

RFL chief executive Ralph Rimmer has warned all head coaches to watch their language after some high-profile incidents on recent live broadcasts.

Ralph Rimmer Chief Executive of the RFL. Picture: Gary Longbottom.
Ralph Rimmer Chief Executive of the RFL. Picture: Gary Longbottom.

Huddersfield Giants’ Simon Woolford is one example of a fired-up coach being captured clearly swearing on close-up images during a Super League game.

Rimmer said the governing body had reminded coaches they have a responsibility in terms of behaviour. He said: “I do think we’re lucky with the calibre of individuals we have involved at all levels of the game, and their appreciation of their role in it – largely because they all love it.

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“But there had been a couple of incidents recently of unmistakable bad language in the close-up shots that broadcasters use to show the passion on the touchline and in the stand.

“Our Compliance Department has written to all clubs and coaches reminding them of their obligations in this regard – especially linking to the Enjoy the Game campaign, which is so important to all of us at the RFL.

“We’re not expecting them to be angels, and we definitely don’t want them to be robots. This was discussed with all the members of the RFL Council in December – and we thought it was timely to send out a reminder.

“We all love the game; it’s so important that we try and protect and nurture it at all levels; we all play a role within that.”

Rimmer has also confirmed Championship and League 1 clubs will discuss potentially disbanding the double Easter fixtures at their next meeting in July

Like Super League, Championship clubs – whose players are mainly part-time and so have other jobs – currently play on Good Friday and again on Easter Monday.

“There is a growing debate about the pros and cons of requiring our players to double up over the Easter weekend – and as a governing body, it would be irresponsible of us not to take it seriously,” said Rimmer.

“There were plenty of battered, exhausted bodies by the end of the Easter Monday fixtures.

“Is that fair to our players? Is it fair to our spectators? Could we do more with the Easter weekend as a whole, rather than leaving Saturday and Sunday free from professional fixtures? That’s why we have added the Easter weekend to the agenda for our next meeting of Championship and League One clubs.

“We’ll take their views, and perhaps explore the possibilities offered by other Bank Holidays, in May and August, as ways of compensating for the loss of the Easter double header. I don’t know where that will end but it’s important to stimulate debate.”