2nd February 2020, 18:55 | disciplinary
Rugby League fans are invited to join Rod Studd in The Sin Bin once a month this season – to get a first-hand and detailed explanation of some of the key decisions taken by the Match Review Panel.
The MRP – comprising four players with vast experience straddling four decades of top-class Rugby League, plus the RFL’s Compliance Manager Laura Fairbank – meets every Monday morning to consider incidents from the previous weekend’s Betfred Super League fixtures, and every Thursday to study incidents from Betfred Championship and League 1.
The Rugby Football League then publishes a summary of their judgements – after they have been shared with players and clubs – which lead to Tuesday disciplinary hearings from members of the game’s Operational Rules Tribunal.
But this year, for the first time, members of the MRP will be available for a monthly grilling from Rod Studd, formerly the host of Rugby League Backchat on Sky Sports – to give supporters more insight into their decisions.
The first Sin Bin show will appear this Wednesday (February 5) from 4pm, on the RFL’s Our League web and app.
It will then become a regular feature on the first Wednesday of every month.
Paul Dixon, the former Great Britain forward who gave outstanding service to a number of Yorkshire clubs, is the longest-serving member of the MRP, having joined in 2011.
Paul Cullen, the former Warrington player who went on to coach Whitehaven, Widnes and Lancashire, as well as his hometown club, has been a member of the MRP since 2015, and is now the Chair.
Nathan McAvoy, who started his career with Salford but enjoyed his greatest success with Bradford Bulls, joined in 2016.
And Phil Veivers, who came to England with Mal Meninga when the pair signed for St Helens in 1984 – and has been here ever since – completed the current Panel when he joined in 2017.
Match Review Panel 2020
A familiar face in the professional game for four decades, since he made his debut for Warrington, his hometown club for whom he would play throughout a 17-season career, with a total of 348 senior appearances. He then moved into coaching, initially with Whitehaven before returning to Warrington where he stayed for seven seasons, and then moving on to their local rivals Widnes. He joined the Match Review Panel in 2015 and is the current Chair of the MRP.
The only Yorkshireman on the panel, Paul Dixon won 15 Great Britain caps as a tough second-row, playing his usual unsung role in a famous victory over Australia at Wembley in 1990. From farming stock in the Pennines, he began his career with Huddersfield then had a brief spell at Oldham before making a major breakthrough at Halifax, with whom he won the Challenge Cup in 1987. He then gave excellent service to both Leeds and Bradford before ending his career with Sheffield Eagles in 1997 – and he is the longest-serving member of the Match Review Panel, having joined in 2011.
After starting his career with his local club Salford, McAvoy enjoyed his best years with Bradford when Bullmania was at its height in the early years of Super League, establishing an effective centre partnership with Scott Naylor. He scored a famous individual try in their Challenge Cup final victory over Leeds at Murrayfield in 2000, one of 52 tries in 97 appearances for the Bulls. He joined the Match Review Panel in 2016.
A Queenslander who originally came to England in 1984, joining St Helens at the same time as his compatriot Mal Meninga. Whereas Meninga only stayed for one season, Veivers has lived here ever since, and became a first-team fixture at full-back in a career which included Lancashire Cup and John Player Trophy triumphs. After retiring in 1996, he moved successfully into coaching, assisting Brian Noble during Bradford’s golden era, and Shaun McRae at Salford. He was head coach at both Salford and Workington Town and joined the Match Review Panel in 2017.