Billy Slater switches sides as NRL’s medical substitute debate heats up
The NRL is facing increased pressure to adopt a medical substitute following an extensive list of injuries sustained in round three.
Billy Slater urged against a kneejerk reaction, but admitted to Mark Levy his opinion on the issue has changed.
“Last week I wasn’t a fan of the 18th man, but I soon changed my mind when I saw Curtis Scott have to stay out on the field with a broken rib.
“Something needs to be done.”
With concerns a medical substitute would be vulnerable to abuse, Billy pointed out rugby league already faces that issue with head injury assessments.
“There’s got to be some form of honesty from the clubs, but at the same time there’s got to be some hefty penalties if they get caught rorting the system.”
Click PLAY below to hear Billy’s comments in full
Rugby League Players Association CEO Clint Newton told Mark and Billy an 18th man is “worth introducing as an interim measure”, though there is debate among players.
“Right now, what is unanimous, Billy, is the fact that we’ve had a number of players come to us … [with] concerns about some of the increases in intensity and demands on the players.”
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Image: Matt King/Getty Images