Jason Heatherington, Handsoff campaign. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin
Jason Heatherington, Handsoff campaign. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin Allan Reinikka

Rugby league coach says there's no place for agro off field

BEING aggressive is all part of the game of rugby league, but its one emotion that should never come off the field.

CQ Capras Coach Jason Hetherington says that rugby league players need to understand they are role models and that violence is never tolerated.

Jason has thrown his support behind The Morning Bulletin's Handsoff campaign, raising awareness that violence is not acceptable.

Jason said there's a bit of a catch when it comes to aggression and the game.

"We need an aggressive nature to play the game and then have to switch if off when you leave the field," he said.

Being in the sporting field comes with its challenges, but players are educated on their role in the community.

"In the sporting field you have to understand your responsibilities and that means being a role model," Jason said.

"You are under the microscope and scrutinised heavily."

Jason said players participate in education programs on being role models and even have sessions with the NRL once a year.

It's when alcohol is involved that things can get carried away, as we've seen several NRL players thrust into the spotlight after a night on the town.

While Jason said he's not against players having a good time, they need to know how to behave.

He said there's always the chance that a player will have a target on them because of the sport when they are on a night out.

According to the coach, there's been a cultural change in the sport, with players understanding their role in society.

"We have harsh punishments here, we have a high standard of behaviour," he said.

Jason said players could be stood down or even given fines for misbehaving.