Channel Nine have embraced their Saturday night coverage of NRL rounds 21-26, on one condition.

Keep Ray “Bolts” Hadley away from the commentary box.

While Nine are obligated to let Bolts commentate some Thursday and Friday games, legendary caller Ray Warren knows it’s risky exposing him to the crucial new timeslot.

‘Bolts is like that boring, creepy uncle on Christmas Day. If he gets a Saturday night game, we’re stuffed. We can’t afford to lose punters so close to the finals.’

Warren has a plan to keep Hadley away.

‘I’ll give him a lift to the game, talk about old-fashioned scrums to distract him, then lock him in a soundproof room somewhere in Redfern with replays of old NSWRL games to commentate, he can gibber on about centre-three-quarters all he wants then.’

Warren isn’t worried the ruse will be discovered, ‘Turn it up! Bolts still thinks it’s the seventies. He’s dead set got no idea what’s going on.’

A Fox League spokesman was critical of Nine’s plan, ‘This is blatant discrimination. Hadley should be allowed to commentate whenever he wants. His work on Nine has increased our viewership dramatically.’

The Forward Pass is a fictional and deliberately ridiculous look at the NRL. References to real people is for satirical purposes only.