NRL to keep interchanges at eight after review

The number of interchanges allowed in the NRL is set to remain at eight per team next season after the NRL Competition Committee reviewed data on the impact the rule change had since it’s implementation in 2016.

Dr Kevin Norton, a professor in exercise science at the University of South Australia, presented a range of data from the past three seasons to demonstrate how the reduction from 10 to eight interchanges had affected the game.

Head of elite football Graham Annesley, one of the members of the NRL Competition Committee has called for greater transparency through weekly press conferences each Monday to discuss on-field issues from the weekend’s round of matches.

“One of the things I spoke to Todd about was that I felt we needed to be a bit more on the front foot and be in the debate more,” Annesley said.

“There is always going to be debate around decisions that are made on and off the field and I felt we needed to be a bit more proactive in that so I suggested to him that in the interests of transparency and leading the debate we should conduct a regular Monday briefing after each round of football.

“He and the commission have agreed to that. If it has been a controversial weekend we will deal with it but it not only gives us an opportunity to address controversial things that are happening in the game but also to get good things out there as well.

“It is limited to on-field issues so if there is an incident with a player I won’t be talking about that. That is Todd’s domain.”