PENRITH, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 05: Nathan Cleary of the Panthers celebrates kicking the winning field goal in golden point during the round four NRL match between the Penrith Panthers and the Wests Tigers at Panthers Stadium on April 05, 2019 in Penrith, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

The NRL has announced a host of rule changes for the 2021 season, per NRL Media.

The league has made these changes with the aim of making the game "faster, more free-flowing, entertaining and unpredictable".

The ARL Commission met on Friday morning - made up of Wayne Pearce, Peter V'landys, Graham Annesley, Craig Bellamy, Ricky Stuart, Matt Cecchin, Luke Keary and Damien Cook - to discuss the recommendations on Monday from the newly formed innovation committee.

The following rule changes will take effect from 2021.

  • Two points for field goals outside the 40m line
  • Six Again for 10 metre infringements
  • Penalties for teams if they leave a scrum before a referee calls "break"
  • Play the ball restart after ball or player finds touch
  • The Bunker will now review replays after an on-field referee awards a try but a conversion attempt will not be allowed until it gets the green light
  • Injured players will be interchanged if a trainer ask for play to be stopped
  • When a captain's challenge is inconclusive a team will not be docked for an unsuccessful attempt
  • A handover will be ordered when a player does not make a genuine attempt to play the ball correctly with their foot

V'landys was excited to see a more entertaining brand of rugby league in 2021.

"The message from the fans and our broadcasters has been clear - the game became too predictable and the balance between attack and defence had gone too far in favour of defence," he told NRL Media. 

"Our changes last year were successful in addressing some of those challenges and the changes announced today will take the element of unpredictability and entertainment a step further."

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