The three changed NRL rules Super League absolutely need to consider

There will be no new rules in the NRL in 2023, but there have been seven changed rules as the Australian competitions draws closer to its opening round.

However, of these seven changed rules, there are three that Super League should absolutely consider implementing for 2023 and beyond.

These are the following:

Operation of the 18th player rule
The number of failed head injury assessments will be reduced from three (3) to two (2) to trigger the activation of the 18th player. This will allow greater flexibility for Clubs which lose multiple players to head injuries in a match.

Intervention of Bunker in Foul Play
The Bunker may only intervene for acts of foul play which it deems to be reportable. The change will ensure fewer needless stoppages while also confirming a firmer process around foul play intervention.

Off-side infringements at scrums
A full penalty will be awarded (rather than a set restart), for off-side scrum infringements by the defensive team anywhere on the field. The non-infringing team will retain the option of repacking the scrum or taking the awarded penalty. Any team which deliberately locks the ball in the scrum to trap defenders in an off-side position will also be penalised.

But why these three rules?

Well for starters, Super League needs to implement the 18th man rule period to support teams around head injuries. It was used in the Rugby League World Cup and a move to Super League should follow for player safety and to punish foul play further.

But the change to two head injuries required before the 18th man is allowed to feature is also smarter, safer and fairer.

As for the foul play rule, this is a must for the reasons outlined by the NRL. It is key that there is a clear system around foul play and key to the flow of the game that this is simple.

Finally, on the note of simplifying things, the decision to just make it a penalty from a scrum makes a lot of sense and will not confuse casual fans.

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