Medical Subcommittee (MEDSCO)


The Medical Sub-Committee (MEDSCO) has been mandated by International Rugby League to advise on specific medical matters instructed by the Board on a case by case basis.


  • To form an expert group to provide recommendations and guidance in specific medical matters on a case-by-case basis following instruction by the Board.
  • Where relevant, to take a whole of membership approach.
  • To supply members to a Therapeutic Use Exemptions Committee to service the IRL anti-doping obligations under the WADA Code.
  • At least annually, review Mandatory Medical Equipment and mandatory drugs present for all international rugby league matches to ensure the most up-to-date practices are in use.


  • MEDSCO will be chaired by the IRL nominee.
  • The committee will comprise:
  • One doctor nominated by the IRL (not necessarily from within the sport)
  • One doctor affiliated with each of the ARLC and RFL. These representatives will possess relevant and up-to-date knowledge from the elite professional game
  • One doctor from each of the APRLC and RLEF
  • One doctor or physiotherapist from each of the APRLC and RLEF Affiliate or Observer Members, to ensure that relevant grassroots care is always considered
  • One IRL staff member nominated by the IRL
  • Confederations to undertake their own nomination and selection procedure.
  • Each representative shall each have one vote, although, in the event of a tie, the Chair will have the casting vote.
  • Quorum of meetings will be a simple majority of the representatives.
  • Meetings will be called by the Chair, with a notice period of not less than ten working days.
  • The IRL shall also appoint a secretary to the panel to co-ordinate meetings, circulate agendas, record minutes and tend to any administration arising from the working group’s decisions. The secretary shall be a non-voting member.
  • From time to time, and upon invitation by the MEDSCO, other representatives of the IRL, its members, international competition organisers or other experts may attend the committee in a non-voting capacity.
  • Meetings will take place as and when required, using technology such as video and conference calling.


  • To take a whole of game approach where necessary, respecting demographic and geographical differences as well as the numerous disciplines and variations that make up the sport of rugby league.
  • Apply professional medical practice and the highest ethical standards to deliberation and recommendations.


  • The MEDSCO secretary will be responsible for the organisation and administration of meetings.
  • Minutes from the meetings shall be taken and circulated to the group in a timely fashion after the meeting.
  • Presentations and reference papers discussed in a meeting will be circulated immediately following the meeting if not already circulated.
  • An action log will be created and presented at each meeting to record the progress against identified actions arising from previous meetings.


  1. SCOPE
  • MEDSCO shall conduct its business in line with the IRL constitution.
  • MEDSCO is an advisory body without executive power, unless certain powers are directly delegated to it by the IRL Board.
  • MEDSCO will limit its work to the specific task instructed by the Board, from time to time and on a case by case basis.
  • The Board shall only consider recommendations from MEDSCO if those recommendations relate to the specific task that the Board has instructed MEDSCO to consider.
  • The Board shall choose whether to either adopt recommendations without amendment or make such amendments it deems fit.