St Helens look to capitalise on rule changes

St Helens stars James Roby and Jonny Lomax believe fewer interchanges will create more space for attacking players.

Ahead of the 2019 season, Super League has decided to reduce the number of substitutions from 10 down to eight.

Roby, who is renowned for his quick dummy half runs and capitalising on gaps in the defensive line, told loverugbyleague.com: “I think it’s definitely going to mean that the big lads in the middle are going to have to play a little bit longer than they’re normally used to, so hopefully that’ll create a little bit of fatigue and make people a bit lazy and create opportunities for myself.”

The 33-year-old is hoping to earn a place in the Great Britain squad upon it’s return this year, but discussing what other impacts he believes the rule change will make, Roby said: “It might make a little bit of a change but to be honest that’ll be more on the coaches, they’ll have to work out how they’re going to rotate certain players at certain times.

“But I think the changes that have been announced and the whole Super League rebranding, led by Robert Elstone, all looks and is sounding really great.”

Another attacking player who shares similar hopes for the Super League rule changes is Lomax. He revealed to loverugbyleague.com: “Hopefully that’ll open up a bit more space in the middle of the pitch.

“At the minute, you can be rolling off some giants of men in the middle and they never get fatigued.

“You can almost utilise eight of your subs for your middle men and then a lot of the time you might roll your nine on and off. It’ll be interesting to see how it does affect the game moving forward, especially if the games are allowed to flow with limited stoppages.

“But I’m sure that the sports science staff and the conditioners, who have done a great job with us, I’m sure that everybody else has been doing the same thing to accommodate those two less subs.”

The aim in the new rule changes, which also include the introduction of a golden-point extra time and shot clocks, is to make the competition even faster and more entertaining for viewers.

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