Anderson Tied Down by Rules

Cronulla coach Chris Anderson says he has no intention of altering his policy on late team changes despite a request from the National Rugby League for clubs to pay more respect to the fans.

Anderson yesterday said he tried to be as honest as possible when announcing his team on Tuesdays but believed there were some case where it was better to name a player who would not take the field.

"I take the obligation that you try and be as straight as you can," the Test coach said.

"It's hard on a Tuesday (to name a side). Say if we play on a Sunday, we have our rehab Monday morning and then have Tuesday off so I don't see the players until Wednesday.

"The tough thing there is that if I have to drop someone, I want to tell the player first.

"I don't want them reading it in the paper so if that situation was there, I will name the same team as last week and then tell the player and change it."

Parramatta coach Brian Smith and Sydney Roosters coach Ricky Stuart both came under fire on the weekend for making late changes to their named sides, angering fans and betting agencies.

NRL officials discussed the issue earlier this week with chief executive David Gallop saying clubs needed to be more conscious of their supporters.

Smith refused to comment on the matter last night but Anderson said coaches deliberately left certain players off team sheets to protect them from being targeted, especially debutants.

"What they're mostly trying to do is protect new kids that are coming into the team," he said.

"There's a case for it if they're protecting a new kid coming into the team.

"I suppose it's hard if you've got four or five blokes who are struggling with injuries and you don't really know until game day sometimes whether they're going to play or not.

"Some of your senior players you'll give until game day so it's a tough one, yeah."

Anderson received support from South Sydney coach Craig Coleman, who revealed he shielded electrifying winger Joven Clarke, 18, from the media in the lead-up to the round 18 clash with Wests Tigers.

"I didn't want to name him," Coleman said.

"He's a young boy and the press would like to get hold of him because he's pretty marketable.

"But with injuries too, sometimes you don't know until game day or the last day before they play whether they're going to be available or not and sometimes you can't help it."

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