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NRL as safe as ever: chief medico

The NRL's head medico Dr Ron Muratore says rugby league has never been safer ahead of his retirement at season's end after six years in the job.
NRL as safe as ever: chief medico
by AAP

By James MacSmith

SYDNEY, Aug 14 AAP - The NRL's head medico Dr Ron Muratore says rugby league has never been safer ahead of his retirement at season's end after six years in the job.

Dr Muratore was a key figure behind the controversial ban of the shoulder charge, improved management of concussion and the move to test for prescription drugs.

He believes the initiatives have ensured a safer sport.

"I think it is safer than it has been in the past," Muratore, the NRL's chief medical officer, told AAP.

"There is still work to be done but we have made some great improvements in regards to player welfare.

"We have a safer sport now that we have had.

"Sometimes you have to protect the players from themselves and it is the responsibility of people like me to do that.

"A lot of the players were not happy with the ban on the shoulder charge but our research now shows that it along with the changes on concussion has made rugby league safer.

"The shoulder charge had the potential to cause injury, it was a low risk but it had to be taken out of the game.

"And the game is now the better for it."

The NRL's crackdown on lifting tackles is the game's governing body's latest move in a bid to make rugby league safer.

Dr Muratore, who will retire at season's end, declined to comment on how he thought it was progressing.

"I have enjoyed the contribution I have been able to make to the game of rugby league over the past six years and feel proud of the many significant achievements regarding player welfare," he added.

In a statement, NRL head of football Todd Greenberg paid tribute to Dr Muratore's efforts in improving player health and safety.

"Dr Muratore has been instrumental in supporting the NRL over the past six years as we made significant improvements to the safety of the game," Greenberg said.

"We have been extremely grateful to Dr Muratore for the valuable contribution that he has made in his role as CMO and for his commitment to player welfare."

Dr Muratore will finish in the role on October 31.




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