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