Fewer scrums after NRL rule changes

The NRL have announced a series of key rule and interpretation changes for the 2014, which is likely to see a reduction in the number of scrums.

Under the changes, play will restart with a tap when a team kicks out on the full on any tackle, as well as when a successful 40/20 kick is made.

Another rule change will see zero tackle called from 20m restarts, effectively providing an extra tackle, in a move designed to discourage tactical kicks and negative play when the ball is kicked dead to slow down the game and deny wingers and fullbacks the chance to return kicks.

So-called interpretation changes include the clock being stopped following a conversion or penalty kick at goal during the last five minutes of a match, to prevent time-wasting.

Quick taps will be permitted on any infringement except 10m penalties and captains will only be able to speak to referees during a stoppage, which doesn’t include penalties and scrums.

There has also been steps to address player safety in relation to cannonball and crusher tackles.

NRL Head of Football, Mr Todd Greenberg said: “These changes will enhance entertainment for fans and increase safety for players.

“It has involved an extensive review process that started with members and fans through the NRL Nation and has involved all NRL clubs and coaches and the game’s Competition Committee.”

More than 11,000 fans were consulted in the review process through an online survey, and the rules will apply to the NRL, State of Origin series, City-Country and the Holden Cup.

Last year, the NRL banned the shoulder charge, a policy that was then replicated by the RFL and the international game.

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