Sky Sports pundit suggests introducing unlimited substitutions in rugby league

Sam Tomkins Sky Sports Super League Alamy

Sam Tomkins on punditry duty for Sky Sports - Alamy

Sky Sports pundit Sam Tomkins has proposed rugby league introducing a remarkable rule change: eliminating the limit on substitutions and interchange players in the sport.

Tomkins, speaking on Sky Sports’ The Bench podcast, was asked to suggest one thing he would change in the sport – and while clearly being light-hearted, he did go into detail about why he felt a removal on the limits surrounding substitutes would be beneficial.

Currently, clubs name four substitutes and can make up to eight interchanges but Tomkins smiled: “I can’t see the benefit in having four subs. I think if you’ve got 32 players fit, get them all kitted up, let them sit in the stand. If you lose a half-back after two minutes, rather than a game getting lost or won.. bring someone else on.”

Tomkins continued to reiterate his point, saying that having as many players who are fresh and able to perform at their maximum as possible can only positively impact the quality of what supporters witness on the field.

He said: “If you lose a half-back after five minutes, have as many as you want. We want the best product possible and to have that you want fresh people on the field as much as possible.

“Why is it only four subs? Is it just tradition? I don’t know. The amount of interchanges has changed over the years. I think have everyone available, as many fit, fresh players on the pitch as possible.”

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