The NRL's mandatory 11-day stand-down rule for concussions has sparked renewed conversation around the potential for a pre grand final bye in the competition.
1999 Clive Churchill Medallist Brett Kimmorley has spoken out, expressing his desire to have the bye implemented. The NRL legend most notably played for the Melbourne Storm and Cronulla Sharks in his decorated career.
Speaking to SEN 1170 Mornings, Kimmorley addressed his beliefs surrounding the discussion.
“I think, not so much for the fairness of the competition but for fans, I'd love to see us get to Grand Final qualifiers and have a week off," said Kimmorley.
“To allow the best teams to rest, we talk about a bye before the semi-finals, why don't we have a bye before the Grand Final?
“We can have all of our awards and a celebration of rugby league (in that week) and allow the two sides that have done extremely well for 30 weeks of the season to have their best team available to win a competition.”
He continued to address the importance of having the best players available for both sides ahead of the Grand Final. From a coaching standpoint, they would want their best possible side to feature with the hopes of winning the premiership. On the other hand, the fans would want to see their favourites and a player missing the Grand Final due to a concussion would be detrimental to that.
“Winning the Grand Final is the hardest thing you can do and sometimes it is about who has the healthiest roster but from a spectacle point of view that would put the best players on the field.
“It would be a showcase, a bit of a festival of football during that week we have off… I don't think there is ever going to be a right or a wrong way.
“I think it's just trying to look after the players and the fans so we can have the best Grand Final possible.”
Ahead of the final game of the season, the two preliminary finals will take place to decide who features in the Grand Final. The Panthers will host the Storm on Friday night whilst the Broncos host the Warriors on Saturday night.
The NRL Grand Final is set to take place on Sunday, October 1.