Safety concerns raised over small Old Trafford in-goals for Rugby League World Cup Final

Safety concerns have again been raised over the small in-goal areas at Old Trafford.

The World Cup Final venue is renowned for having small in-goal areas for rugby league matches due to the pitch dimensions and advertising signage at the ends of the field.

Despite numerous collisions down the years at the Theatre of Dreams in both Super League and World Cup matches, little has been done to make the in-goal areas longer and safer.

To add to the hazard, there is also a steep drop off at the end of both sides of the pitch, with players down the years seen falling down them even in the act of sliding over for a try.

A regular in-goal in Super League and the NRL is around seven or eight metres whereas the one at Old Trafford is believed to be less than five, with fencing and billboards causing a potential risk beyond that.

Former Australia captain Paul Gallen believes safety measures need to be put in place as he recalled a former team-mate narrowly avoiding a serious injury at the venue.

He told The Daily Telegraph: “The in-goals are tiny. Hopefully they put in some soft safety barriers in front of the fence. I remember what happened to Brett Morris.

“You have to remember it’s a World Cup final, so there’s no self-preservation. Players will be going for it. Hopefully everyone will be OK.

“At the end of the day, players have a chance to play at one of the most special grounds in the world.”

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