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NRL approve captain’s challenge rule for 2020 season

The Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) have approved the new ‘captain’s challenge’ rule for the upcoming 2020 NRL season.

This new rule will allow teams the chance to dispute an on-field ruling and make an official challenge with the NRL video bunker.

The challenges may only be used when a restart is required, such as a scrum, penalty or dropout. If the ball is in play, a decision cannot be challenged.

Each team will be allowed one incorrect challenge per game. If the on-field ruling is upheld, the side will lose their challenge, but if a ruling is overturned, the team retains their challenge.

The rule has been used in two games this pre-season, with only St George and South Sydney getting a taste of the system before the new season starts.

The Dragons had two successful challenges during their Charity Shield match against the Rabbitohs, whereas both the Bunnies and the Maori All Stars had one unsuccessful challenge each.

Captains must now work on the best way to implement the new rule effectively.

Credit: Sporting News

New Rabbitohs captain Adam Reynolds admitted that he thought teams had one challenge per half rather than one challenge per game. Reynolds wasted his challenge just before half-time.

The system was first proposed by the ARLC in December after a fan survey showed that one of the biggest problems in the game is incorrect refereeing decisions.

The NRL and ARLC have been proactive in the difficult task of eradicating glaring errors made by the referees.

According to, NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said that the captain’s challenge was an example of the game listening to fans.

“At the end of last season, we conducted a fan survey and the biggest issue they raised was the impact of an incorrect decision on the game,” he said.

“The Commission has listened to our fans, taken on board what they said and brought in an innovation which gives clubs the opportunity to overturn a wrong decision.”

The system will be in place for Round 1 of the 2020 NRL season.

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