RFL con­firms scrap­ping of scrums and use of ‘six again’ rule

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport -

Su­per League will restart with­out scrums when it re­sumes next month, the Rugby Foot­ball League has con­firmed.

The com­pe­ti­tion will also adopt the “six again” rule be­ing used in Aus­tralia, where the bulk of ruck in­fringe­ments are pe­nalised by restart­ing the tackle count, not by a penalty.

The RFL board has also de­layed a de­ci­sion on whether to restart the Championsh­ip and League One cam­paigns – and if the game scraps pro­mo­tion and rel­e­ga­tion for 2020.

“The Covid-19 pan­demic has pre­sented all sports with im­mense chal­lenges,” said Si­mon John­son, the RFL chair. “Af­ter our meet­ing, we are con­firm­ing some sig­nif­i­cant changes to the way the game will be played on the field next month – which we be­lieve are im­por­tant and nec­es­sary to pri­ori­tise the wel­fare of play­ers, and the suc­cess of the sea­son when it re­sumes.”

The Su­per League is due to re­sume on Aug 2, and RFL chiefs have now set a dead­line of July 23 to de­cide whether to restart the lower two di­vi­sions.

“Fol­low­ing a sur­vey of the 25 Bet­fred Championsh­ip and League One clubs that was con­ducted af­ter their meet­ing last month to as­sess their cur­rent views, the board ob­served that for a ma­jor­ity of clubs in each com­pe­ti­tion, play­ing matches be­hind closed doors is im­prac­ti­cal, given the costs and other lo­gis­ti­cal is­sues,” read an RFL state­ment.

“The board noted that a small ma­jor­ity of clubs at Championsh­ip and League One level pre­ferred to hold open the pos­si­bil­ity of re­sum­ing the sea­son given the chang­ing sit­u­a­tion re­gard­ing the cost of anti­gen test­ing and the pos­si­bil­ity of play­ing in front of crowds – while a ma­jor­ity ex­pressed sup­port for the pos­si­bil­ity of a mean­ing­ful com­pe­ti­tion in the au­tumn and win­ter if that was the best avail­able op­tion.”

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