Super League referee Robert Hicks has called on players to stop handling injured opposition and to stop milking injuries in order to gain an advantage.
Hicks was appointed the RFL’s director of operations and legal in October 2021. It meant a move to part-time refereeing within the sport but is often seen officiating in the top division.
Speaking on the latest episode of ‘Sin Bin’, the panel, which included chief on-field officer Dave Rotheram, discussed the latest rise of milking penalties.
Hicks also calls on players to stop touching injured opposition or players laying on the ground.
He told present Rod Studd: “We’re big on it because it’s become an issue in the sport this season. Until this year, we’d had one or two incidents across the last three or four years.
“We’ve reminded clubs over the last couple of years about this. As this season has gone on we’ve seen more and more players continue to do it despite an actual email that was sent to clubs part-way through the season.
“The message could not be clearer from the governing body; people have to stop moving injured players, even if they think the player is milking the injury. It’s not for players to make that decision. Leave that to the experts.
“I know that there’s been some criticism within the sport about players milking injuries in order to win penalties.
“We had that incident a few years ago. We managed to get rid of it because the players, the coaches and the referees all worked together to stop it.
‘You’re not helping the look of the sport’
“My advice to the players and coaches would be that you need to call out the players in your own club and they need to stop doing that.
“You’re not helping the look of the sport. It’s about time that players, if they’re injured stay down and receive the treatment they need, and stop trying to milk extra penalties and extra sanctions against opposition players.
“It’s not a good look for the sport and it needs to stop.”