As NRL clubs prepare break out the black tape in tribute to passing one of the game’s most iconic characters, several other memorials are being planned to take place throughout the round 5 fixtures.

Tommy Raudonikis’s death at age 70 from cancer yesterday has cast a solemn shadow across the game, as the rugby league community comes to terms with the loss.

Hundreds of thousands of rugby league fans, players and commentators are this week taking a moment to remember the life and times of a man who gave so much to the sport in way of passion, heart and mateship

Known for his “cattle dog” catchcry that brought a much-needed punchy passion back to State of Origin in the wake of the disastrous Super League war, Raudonikis will live on forever in the DNA of the working man’s game.

From the board rooms atop of Martin Place and Brisbane’s Queen street, down to the leagues clubs in Western Sydney – the passing of Tommy Terrific leaves a hole in rugby league that may never be filled.

In tribute to the great man, the NRL has this week agreed to loosen the rules surrounding on-field violence for just one weekend.

ARL commissioner Peter V’Landys has today announced on 2GB with Ray Hadley that from 8pm this Thursday night through to 8pm this Sunday, all NRL players will be allowed to throw closed fists at one another without the fear of a red card or being put on report.

“It’s the right thing to do” V’Landys told Hadley.

“It’s the only fitting tribute we can give to a man who gave so much”

“He gave a lot of love, and he gave a lot of niggle”

“He he also gave ’em a few to the ribs and chin, just quietly”

While V’Landys admits the game as moved well past the stiff-armed on-field violence of yesteryear, it seems only appropriate to allow a reserve grade standard of biff on the paddock this weekend.

“I’m happy to allow it, but there’s gonna be some rules” he said.

“Everyone knows the rules, because Tommy wrote the rules”

“As long as everyone is standing, it’s okay for an all-in”

“If it’s on the ground, it can only be one-on-one”

“Anyone who puts the slipper in will cop and early shower, and the same goes for any third man in”

V’Landys has also flagged the possibility of Wests Tigers playing in the old Magpies jersey this Sunday for their match against the Cowboys at Leichhardt Oval.

It is expected to be an emotional bloodbath, and one that Tommy would be proud of.

R.I.P Tommy Raudonikis, The Pride Of The Fibros


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