NRL’s Head of Football Todd Greenberg has announced a number of rule changes to be enforced in 2016.
The number of interchanges will be reduced to eight and a shot clock will be introduced next season.
Instead of allowing teams 10 interchanges during a match they will only be allowed eight to emphasise endurance rather than power. This will be something that strength and conditioning coaches will have to work on in order to use their interchanges in the best possible way.
Greenberg has said that the changes will allow the game to become safer as well as more entertaining for the fans.
“We think these changes are a significant first step because they will reward endurance and fitness and open up the game,” he said.
“As a result of these changes, there will be a greater emphasis on skill to complement power and size.”
Greenberg has not described the dropout and scrums shot clock timings, but has said its aim is to reduce time wastage. Currently, the players are allowed 40 seconds for a dropout before the official game clock is stopped.
“We believe that, unless we take action now, the game will become more structured, defensive and predictable in years to come.
“So these changes are designed to ensure we stay ahead of the curve – it is about shaping how the game will look in 10 years and beyond,” Greenberg said.
The NRL is working towards ensuring as many clubs and leagues, such as the NSWRL and the QRL, are in support of the changes. – Sam Pasfield
Top photo from David Telford’s Flickr photostream.