Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy says punching is dead at NRL level.
Part of Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy would like to see a return to the days when players sorted out their differences with a flurry of punches on the field and a post-game handshake.
But the Storm coach admits today's society can no longer allow violence to exist in professional sport due to the prevalence of "one-punch" deaths.
Bellamy made his opinion clear when asked about Fairfax Media journalist Andrew Webster's column calling for players to again be allowed to fight on the field.
Webster wrote after watching Brisbane Broncos' Sam Thaiday and Sydney Roosters' Jared Waerea-Hargreaves scrap and wrestle last Friday night, he would like them to be able to throw one or two punches and settle their differences.
Bellamy played in the NRL in the late 1980s and early 1990s when punching was a celebrated part of the game but after seeing the impact of "one-punch" attacks on victims and families he knows it can never return.
"We would all like to see the "biff" come back, everyone likes to see a bit of a stoush," Bellamy said on Wednesday.
"We are an extension of society and at the end of the day there has been a lot of young people killed from single punches, one punches and we've got to lead the way there.
"The NRL did exactly the right thing by banning punching, we can't expect our young people in society to look up to NRL players or sporting people then see them do things they are not supposed to be doing.
"We have to set an example, our guys are role models for young people and I'm sure if you asked the families of young men who died or were seriously injured from one punches, you know what response you would get from them.
"Us older guys would like to see it [punching] again but it's not part of society anymore and we are part of society so we have to set some examples."