WORTH THE SEASON: Rooster Jared Waerea-Hargreaves receives a high shot from Parramatta’s Darcy Lussick at Allianz Stadium.
WORTH THE SEASON: Rooster Jared Waerea-Hargreaves receives a high shot from Parramatta’s Darcy Lussick at Allianz Stadium.

Carne says Darcy Lussick shouldn't be playing this season

FORMER Brisbane Broncos Test and Origin winger Willie Carne says Parramatta forward Darcy Lussick should have been rubbed out for the 2014 season for his flying coathanger on Sydney Roosters forward Jared Waerea-Hargreaves last weekend.

Carne, who suffered a number of bad head knocks during his 126-game career for Brisbane, said he believed the NRL was still far too soft on players who intentionally attack the head of an opponent.

Lussick took an early guilty plea and will sit out four games.

"He shouldn't get four games for that, he should get the season ... gone," Carne told APN when asked about the NRL's new concussions rules.

"If players don't stop doing it they're going to end up with law suits because the ambulance chasers are going to be all over it."

Lussick's old-fashioned stiff arm brought home just how much rugby league has changed in recent decades, and why past and present players have embraced the rule changes.

The new guidelines being enforced by the NRL are based on the Consensus Statement recommended at the 4th International Conference on Concussion in Sport held in Zurich in November, 2012.

A lot of rugby league fans were up in arms when the game's administrators first outlawed the shoulder charge and banned the biff last season, threatening any player throwing a punch would be sin-binned.

There has been no such backlash about the new concussion rules, in which players knocked-out must leave the field and be assessed by a doctor before they can rejoin the game.

Suggestions that the changes, introduced for player safety, as the combatants get bigger, stronger and faster, had made the game soft have been scoffed at by some of the hardest men to play rugby league.

One-time enforcers Ian Roberts and Mark Geyer have publicly revealed head knocks suffered during their careers had left them with some brain damage.

Former Brisbane front-rower Andrew Gee, who played the game as hard and tough as anyone, said the toughness of today's game was completely different to when he played more than 300 games for club, state and country in an era when players were regularly knocked out.

"Toughness isn't about hitting a bloke in the head," Gee said.

"Toughness is about running as hard into the opposition in the 80th minute as the first minute.

"Players are bigger, faster and stronger and collisions are massive. The game is a lot tougher than it was."