Rugby League World Cup to utilise NRL rule absent in Super League as well as squad numbers

Whenever it’s time for internationals, it’s always a case of what rules from either main competition will be incorporated into the internationals.

With a World Cup this year, this question is even more pressing with some considerable differences between the NRL rules and those in Super League.

For instance, the NRL has introduced an 18th man which can alleviate pressure on sides following head injuries and the Rugby League World Cup is set to incorporate this.

The rule works as follows: if at least three players are lost to head injuries or concussions, a team will be able to call upon their 18th man to lessen the blow of these injuries to their performance in a move that could further punish any foul play that could lead to such injuries.

In another interesting move is the inclusion of squad numbers.

Squad numbers have always been a part of Super League with teams having numbers as high as 40 in recent years and Leeds even playing in a Grand Final with their number 33, Zak Hardaker, playing a key role in the decider.

However, this is something that we don’t see in the NRL with teams usually wearing 1-17 with the odd exception when a late change is made prior to the fixture.

Even then the highest number you’re ever likely to see is around the low 20s. However, in the World Cup NRL stars had better get used to squad numbers as they will be distributed at the start of the tournament and players will keep them for the duration of the competition unlike in previous tournaments and internationals where teams have often played in 1-17.

So, there will be a couple of new elements to this World Cup which is set to be the most inclusive ever with the Men’s, Women’s and Wheelchair all taking place concurrently whilst the PDRL tournament also takes place.

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