RFL to consider adopting NRL’s ‘six again’ rule

The RFL are considering adopting the NRL’s ‘six again’ rule once rugby league is able to resume in the Northern Hemisphere, as well as possibly scrapping scrums for the rest of the season.

The ruling, which sees teams penalised for ruck infringements by having the tackle count restarted instead of a penalty awarded, was introduced in Australia with the aim of encouraging a quick ruck and decreasing the wrestle in tackles, thereby reducing the number of players involved in each tackle and limiting close contact.

The RFL’s Laws Committee, a group made up of chairmen, CEOs, coaches, referees, ex-players and medical professionals, have supported an RFL proposal to implement the rule at all levels, which will now be considered by Super League, Championship and League 1 clubs.

The Laws Committee have also advised clubs to consider scrapping all scrums for the rest of the 2020 season in order to reduce the threat of Covid-19 transmission.

Scrums could be scrapped for the remainder of the 2020 season. Credit: Craig Milner/News Images

Three other rules are also being considered as part of the proposal, all of which have been introduced in the NRL:

  • When a team kicks out on the full, play will be restarted by a play-the-ball rather than a scrum.
  • The restart following a mutual infringement (such as the ball hitting the referee or a trainer) will be a play-the-ball rather than a scrum.
  • Restrictions on the legal point of contact for a third defender in an upright tackle, which must now be above the knee.

Ralph Rimmer, RFL Chief Executive and chair of the Laws Committee, said: “These are major recommendations, but these are unprecedented times, presenting the game with unique challenges.

The Committee recognised the importance of consulting widely within the game before the recommendations are put to the RFL Board, and that process has already started. But we believe Rugby League is well-served by its agility, in terms of being able to consider and implement such significant changes.

“The recommendation to adopt a number of the rule changes that have been introduced in the NRL in 2020 will also assist in the important process of aligning the rules across both hemispheres.”

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