The nature of rugby league is that rules are amended or trialled as a part of developing the game, and the English Super League will trial some rules of their own in two friendlies on Boxing Day.
The new rules will be trialled in two friendly clashes – Leeds v Wakefield and Batley v Dewsbury, as the RFL look to expand the English Super League.
The new rules are:
1. Kicking the ball dead from inside your own half – where the ball is kicked dead or touch in goal from inside the kickerâ€™s own half, play will be restarted with a handover at the centre of the 40m line nearest to the non-kicking teamâ€™s goal line.
2. Charge down – charging down the ball does not restart the tackle count. If the kicking team regains possession the tackle count will continue as before. The charge down will still not count as a knock on.
3. Attacking team option to reduce numbers in scrum – where a team is awarded a scrum, the feeding team has the option of only putting five men in the scrum giving them eight â€œbacksâ€ to attack with.
The RFL Laws Committee were the ones who decided on the experimental rule changes, with RFL Chief Executive Nigel Wood looking forward to seeing the sort of impact the rules will have on the game.
â€œChristmas friendlies are the perfect opportunity to trial changes such as these and I would like to thank all four clubs for their willingness to participate in the experiment,â€ said Wood.
â€œThe rule changes have been proposed with a view to enhancing the game day experience for both fans and players alike and Iâ€™m sure that will be the case for everyone at Headingley Carnegie Stadium and Mount Pleasant on Boxing Day.â€