St Helens head coach Paul Wellens hit by hefty fine by RFL for derogatory comments

Ben Olawumi
Paul Wellens

St Helens head coach Paul Wellens - Alamy

St Helens boss Paul Wellens has been fined £2,000 by the Rugby Football League this afternoon, charged with ‘breaching the game’s Operational Rules’ with comments made after their Challenge Cup semi-final defeat to Leigh Leopards in July.

Losing 12-10 at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, Saints saw both Agnatius Paasi and Alex Walmsley forced off with injuries which were supposed to rule both out until 2024.

Veteran prop Walmsley however did return towards the back end of the season and featured in their Super League play-off fixtures.

Both Paasi and Walmsley’s injuries came following tackles from Leigh skipper John Asiata, legal in the laws of the game, and saw Wellens express his anger at the overseas ace’s actions going unpunished in the aftermath.

Just over four months on, the Red V’s chief has now been hit in the pocket by the RFL, with half of his fine suspended until the end oft the 2024 season barring any similar ‘offences’.

St Helens head coach Paul Wellens hit by hefty fine from RFL for derogatory comments

The RFL released a statement via their website this afternoon confirming Wellens’ fine.

It read: “St Helens head coach Paul Wellens has been fined £2,000, with £1,000 suspended until the end of the 2024 season, for breaching the game’s Operational Rules.

“Comments made by Wellens in a BBC radio interview following the Betfred Challenge Cup Semi-final against Leigh Leopards were found to have breached rules D1.1 (b), C2:6, C2.10 and C2:13, which relate to the conduct and standards of behaviour of persons bound by the game’s Operational Rules. 

“Criticisms of both the Match Review Panel and the RFL, and language used in relation to tackles to the head, were considered to be detrimental both to the game and the RFL’s Compliance function, and ultimately to have brought the game into disrepute.”

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