The NRL is to introduce new scrum guidelines in an attempt to reduce time-wasting.
A maximum time limit will now be in place for the forming of scrums, with statistics show that an average of eight minutes per match was being lost packing down.
Both teams must be bound and be ready to pack in to the scrum 30 seconds after the referee has blown his whistle, and a penalty will be awarded if one team fails to do so, or if neither side has bound, then the team with the loose head and feed will receive the penalty.
The moves follow recommendations from the NRL Competition Commitee.
The 40-second time limit for drop-outs is also to be reduced to 30 seconds.
The new guidelines will come in to play this week, although penalties will not be enforced as a result of these changes until the start of round 15, to enable players and officials to adjust.
NRL General Manager of Football Operations, Nathan McGuirk, said: “This is a great example of the Competition Committee identifying an issue in the game and acting quickly to address it.”