The fake news that’s actually fake.
The NRL will return to unlimited interchange from round five, after the Easter long weekend of matches.
The move is designed to combat the code’s massive injury toll and the increasing fatigue from the new rules.
“It was a crazy weekend, with the Raiders and Sharks decimated, so I’ve decided to take action for the good of the game ” said NRL CEO Andrew Abdo.
Under the new rule, the bench will be expanded to eight players, with no restrictions on the number of interchanges. It will also allow players who fail their HIA’s to be permanently replaced.
Unlimited interchange was last used from 1996-2000.
“I know the unlimited interchange may negate the excitement of the little men running rings around tired forwards at the back end of games, but it also means teams will be fresher and there will hopefully be less blowouts between the good and bad teams,” said Abdo.
NRL journalist Paul Kent is critical of the new rule. “The NRL administrators have no idea what they’re doing! First they introduce these crazy new rules, and then they backtrack because players are getting slammed! Does Abdo want fast footy or an even competition? Pick one!”
Abdo responded to Kent’s criticism, saying the new rule will reduce injuries. “Forwards can now rip in 1,000%, knowing they’ll get a break and return later. A forward who can play in shorter bursts is less likely to be injured and will probably have a longer career.”
Veteran Balmain forward-turned-commentator Steve ‘Blocker’ Roach is concerned the new rule will make modern forwards too soft.
“While it was horrible to see all their injuries, it was courageous to watch the remaining Raiders and Sharks players dig in for their teammates. Curtis Scott played the full 80 through suspected broken ribs,” said Roach. “Footy’s about pushing yourself to your limits, and now players won’t work on their fitness as they’ll only want to put in 10 minute stints, have a breather, and then return. It’s the soft option!”
The Forward Pass is a fictional and deliberately ridiculous look at the NRL. References to real people is for satirical purposes only. Check it out on Twitter @thefwdpass