NRL to trial Captain’s Challenge

After the Australian Rugby League Commission provisionally approved the rule, the NRL’s proposed ‘Captain’s Challenge’ will be trialled in the All Stars and Charity Shield pre-season clashes.

The rule will be trialled in the All Stars game on February 22, and again a week later in the Charity Shield clash between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the St George Illawarra Dragons.

The ARLC also plan to discuss the rule with the NRL clubs before they approve its use in the upcoming 2020 season, and will make a decision at the commission’s next board meeting on February 28.

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 was proposed to try and prevent clear refereeing errors influencing the outcome of a game and to subsequently ease the pressure on the referees.

When the rule was proposed to him last year, NRL Head of Football, Graham Annesley said: “Fans have walked away in the past feeling as though there were errors that affected their team.

“The Commission is very keen on it from that point of view as an innovation in our game. It’s intended to try and capture those obvious errors”.

A survey was made last year by NRL.com regarding the fans’ most desired rule change. The majority voted for a captain’s challenge with more than 18,000 votes.

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