The RFL is keen to introduce the ‘six again’ rule to their competitions once play resumes.
An RFL Laws Committee took place on Wednesday where it was recommended the rule should be implemented upon the restart of the season after an impressive introduction in the NRL.
The rule sees most infringements around the ruck penalised by a reset of the tackle count, rather than a pause in play followed by a kick to touch. The rule has increased the tempo of games in the NRL but has also seen an increase in blowout scores.
Three additional NRL rule changes introduced this year are being considered:
· When a team kicks out on the full, play will be restarted by a play-the-ball rather than a scrum;
· The restart following a mutual infringement (such as the ball hitting the referee or a trainer) will be a play-the-ball rather than a scrum;
· Restrictions on the legal point of contact for a third defender in an upright tackle, which must now be above the knee.
Additionally, the RFL has asked clubs to consider the removal of scrums from play when the action returns in August to reduce the risk of contracting Covid-19 following evidence from medical experts which show the threat of exposure would be significantly reduced.
The decision is now for clubs to consider before a final decision will be made at the next RFL Board meeting at the start of July.
Ralph Rimmer, the RFL’s Chief Executive and chair of the Laws Committee, said: “These are major recommendations, but these are unprecedented times, presenting the game with unique challenges. The Committee recognised the importance of consulting widely within the game before the recommendations are put to the RFL Board, and that process has already started. But we believe Rugby League is well-served by its agility, in terms of being able to consider and implement such significant changes.
“The recommendation to adopt a number of the rule changes that have been introduced in the NRL in 2020 will also assist in the important process of aligning the rules across both hemispheres.”