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New ‘Green Card’ in English Super League could shake up NRL

Reports have surfaced from The Examiner in Yorkshire, England, that a new rule is set to be implemented in the English Super League to ensure that, not only are players treated properly by doctors and physios, but also that time is no longer wasted during stages of the game. If successful, the rule could be swiftly implemented into the NRL to fix issues locally.

It is one of the great frustrations for fans of Rugby League that players are not treated correctly for injuries sustained on the field, but that players fake injuries to waste time for whatever reason suits them at certain stages of the game.

Now, the English Super League is expected to introduce the ‘Green Card’ more strongly to the competition to further resolve these exact issues. In 2022 the Super League brought in the green card when the head trainer, doctor or physio would request that the match is stopped.

If a player was shown a green card, they were then required to stay off the field for a further two minutes.

In 2023 the rule is set to be simplified. From the start of the season, a player will be shown a green card if the game is stopped for them to receive any treatment. This will see that not only are players treated correctly for any injuries sustained, but that players are not wasting time in the game.

The new ‘green card’ system was also introduced with coaches agreeing that players were feigning injury or attempting to assist a player who has stayed down with injury.

It’s also been reported that deliberations are still taking place to work through any issues with the system, but it’s hopeful the system will be fully functional to start the 2023 season. This year’s season is set to start mid-February, and here in lies the issue for the NRL, RLPA and players alike.

The NRL season is set to start on March 2, and in the lead up to the 2023 season, there have already been issues relating to the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the players and NRL. With news of the new ‘Green Card’ system, the NRL and RLPA could be in for more lengthy negotiations.

NRL Chairman Peter V’Landys has already shown no hesitations in making swift, permanent, and very significant changes to NRL rules. V’Landys famously changed the rule surrounding contact with the head ahead of the 2021 Magic Round in Brisbane resulting in mass send offs and sin bins.

Given of the history of the NRL and rule changes, it would not be at all surprising to see the changes made in the weeks or days leading up to the start of the NRL season, or even during the season depending on the success of the change in the Super League.

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