Papua New Guinea v Wales: Rugby League World Cup
DONCASTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 31: John Kear, Head Coach of Wales looks on following the Rugby League World Cup 2021 Pool D match between Papua New Guinea and Wales at the Keepmoat Stadium on October 31, 2022 in Doncaster, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images for RLWC)

His team earned the respect of the rugby league community despite not winning a game, but Wales' national team coach John Kear has used his final World Cup press conference to slam the IRL's decision to adopt the six-again rule ahead of the tournament.

Despite not troubling the scorers, the Welsh fought valiantly in their final group-stage match with Papua New Guinea in a torrential Doncaster downpour.

The Welsh side is largely made up of part-time players who play in the lower ranks of the English system, and Kear says that decisions like the six-again rule make it harder for developing teams to keep up with the best.

He also said that outside of Australia and the Super League, most casual fans had no idea of the rule and it simply added to a confusing experience.

“Don't get me started on the six-again, I'm just not a fan of it,” Kear said after the game, per AAP.

“Let's go back to ‘if a team breaks the rules, penalise them'.

“Perhaps this doesn't happen in Australia because it's such a big sport (and) they know the rules. But I know people in southern England saying to me ‘I thought your game was a six-tackle game'.

“There's confusion to the casual watcher that's generated by the six-again.”

Kear was also quick to point out that the number of blow-outs that have attracted such negative attention in the group stage may be related to the decision.

“There have been blow-outs in the NRL and that's on the back of the six-again,” Kear said.

“I think there are also more injuries because of the six-again, because the ball is in play so much.

“It's something that needs looking at. It's something that's changed the game and not for the better.

“There never used to be 70-point blowout scores in the NRL, you could come bottom and be challenging for the grand final next year.”


  1. He may have a couple of valid points, but the NRL (which effectively runs the international game) isn’t going to take any notice of anyone’s opinions but those of Mr V’Landys, I suspect.

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