News Limited is reporting that Manly Sea Eagles winger David Williams could be banned from the rest of the 2014 season after the NRL Integrity Unit uncovered a long history of Williams betting on Rugby League matches.
Disturbingly, it is being alleged that Williams bet on games the Manly Sea Eagles played it, but never against the Sea Eagles to lose.
If that is the case I personally believe Williams should be facing a lifetime ban. Ignorance of rules against betting on Rugby League matches that everyone knows about isn’t a defence. Even the most dense player in the world would know that betting on games your own club plays in is against the rules.
The NRL needs to come down hard on players that are caught betting on Rugby League matches. It is a very slippery slope to go from betting on the game, to better on your own team to win, to betting on in game options that you can work towards trying to make happen…and all of a sudden you are spot fixing.
The NRL need only look at the late Ryan Tandy to know how terribly this can all turn out for a player. There needs to be a massive deterrent for any player that is even thinking of betting on Rugby League games.
More names will no doubt come out over the next few days. Let’s hope the NRL does the right thing and protects the game integrity above all else.