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Soliola backs NRL on player punishment

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Iosia Soliola of the Raiders looks on during the Round 4 NRL match between the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles and the Canberra Raiders at Lottoland in Sydney, Saturday, March 31, 2018. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)

One of rugby league's leading role models off the field has backed the NRL's hardline stance on player behaviour.

Canberra veteran Sia Soliola says the circumstances around Ben Barba effectively being handed a life ban from the game are sad, but NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg had made the right call.

Players were warned before the Christmas break there would be drastic consequences for misbehaving and Soliola has applauded the game's governing boy for sticking to its word.

"The only way people learn is by knowing what boundaries there are," he told reporters on Wednesday.

"Collectively, as a game, we've got to protect the game first and that's what the mindset should be.

"Not only do fans and ourselves (as players) lose a quality player but the game misses out.

"If we switch our mindsets a little bit and just think about what we're hurting, I think that will change things a little bit."

Soliola, who helps with feeding the homeless every Monday morning and drove a distraught stranger around the streets to help her look for stolen belongings last year, shaved off his trademark locks for charity in November.

© AAP 2019