Billy Moore has branded it a “disgrace” that NRL players can sign with rival clubs a year in advance as the league legend strongly advocated for trade windows.
Penrith say they are “vigorously defending” suspended physio Peter Green, with the club set to contest the NRL’s breach notice for stopping play in last week’s semi-final win over Parramatta.
Coach Ivan Cleary on Friday came to the defence of Green, backing his integrity after the club were handed a $25,000 fine and the physio was stood down for two weeks.
Green attracted the ire of the NRL when he asked for play to be stopped with Mitch Kenny injured in back play while Parramatta were on the attack late in the 8-6 win.
The Panthers are due to submit a response to the NRL by Tuesday, but are making no secret of backing their man.
“We care about our people here and feel like it’s a little disappointing,” Cleary said.
“We’re talking about a guy who is extremely popular and outstanding at his job, with the utmost integrity.
“We feel bad for both of our trainers involved, one of which was named and shamed which I just think is completely unfair.
“We kind of understand how that the NRL were put under pressure with so much publicity.
“We understand how they may have come to that conclusion but at the end of the day, they were just doing their job.
“They care for our players and that type of thing happens every game and every week but we get it, but certainly in the background we’re vigorously defending it.”
Penrith’s defence is expected to centre around the fact Green was already on his feet on the sideline when Kenny went down, and could immediately assess that he was seriously injured.
The NRL’s protocols state that a trainer can only request play be stopped if an initial assessment shows a doctor is required on-field.
It’s believed that Penrith will argue that the doctor was then not able to come on-field as they were already conducting a HIA on Scott Sorensen.
Penrith took two physios into their Queensland bubble and will be able to replace Green in an on-field capacity in Saturday’s preliminary final against Melbourne.
But they were working still with the NRL on Friday afternoon on how they would be able to ensure they had a second physio as required on the sideline.
“We’ve patched our medical staff up like the rest of the team. We’ll be okay,” Cleary said.