A northern beaches lawyer and keen rugby league supporter has warned that NRL players could face potentially costly civil law suits for chicken wing and spear tackles in the future.
Andy Chrysiliou, the principal of Chrysiliou Lawyers in Brookvale, said the NRL should also consider its own fines against coaches when their players used chicken wing tackles.
He was prompted to speak out following the ugly chicken wing tackle used by South Sydney forward George Burgess on Manly centre Steve Matai.
"I thought it was absolutely disgusting," Mr Chrysiliou said.
The tough as teak Sea Eagles star Matai subsequently missed last Sunday's game with the Titans due to a shoulder injury while Burgess pleaded guilty to a dangerous contact charge and received a two week ban.
"A spear tackle or chicken wing tackle could give rise to action to recover damages from the player suffering the injury," Mr Chrysiliou said.
He said the Civil Liability Act of 2002 imposes limits on civil liability.
But he warned that excludes liability for an act that is done with intention to cause injury.
"So substantial damages could be awarded in such cases depending upon the circumstances," he said.
"Also I do not think players have any idea of what a guilty plea to a charge could expose them to in respect to civil liability where injury is involved."
Mr Chrysiliou, who is also an alternate director of the Sea Eagles, said incidents like the Matai tackle highlighted the need for the NRL to take a strong stance on dealing with serious tackles.
"I think that if there is a chicken wing tackle then the coach should be fined in addition to the player suspension," he said.
"Coaches are fined for criticising referees, so there is a precedent for introducing a fine on coaches for deliberate player attempts to cause injury."
Mr Chrysiliou has a long association with rugby league and is a dedicated Sea Eagles supporter.
"I even recall watching Rex Mossop play in his short sleeve jersey which was a bit of a novelty in those days," he said.