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Covering the Central Highlands
Central West Queensland

Sport & Racing

20 April, 2021

Local coach worries about the speed of the game

“BIG bopper” and Emerald Tigers co-coach, Jay Edwards said he was worried about the recent rule changes within the National Rugby League, which could impact local footy and the overall direction of rugby league. The NRL have implemented rule changes that includes six agains, instead of a penalty for being inside the ten and play the balls instead of scrums, if the ball goes over the sideline. Mr Edwards plays as a front rower, and said the changes were part of what he believed was a phasing out of the bigger players in rugby league. While these rules have not yet been filtered down to the smaller teams in the Queensland Rugby League, Mr Edwards said they were a part of a worrying trend. “They are trying to speed the game up too much; you can see how many injuries have come out,” he said. “Whether you can prove that’s a direct correlation to the injuries is another story, the game has been sped up too much. “I’m a front rower myself, and it’s taking the big boys out of the game.” He said, “big boppers” (big players) were a part of what people came to the game for. “It’s hard because you like seeing those big boys clash, that’s what some people watch it for,” he said. Mr Edwards said he didn’t like the amount of rule changes happening in the game overall. “If you look back, there might have been a rule change maybe every two or three years,” he said. “But now we’re changing the rules all the time, and it’s over complicating the game. “Rugby league is one of the simplest games in the world. “It’s a simple game and that’s how people like it; people like the big hits and the trys.”

By Michael R Williams

PHOTO: Supplied

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