New rules for NRL reboot: 10 biggest changes since lockdown
Rugby league is back but plenty is different - check out the 10 significant changes since you last watched a game.
1. Single referee: It's the most significant onfield change to the code in a decade. Despite some reservations, the game will proceed with just one referee for the first time since 2009.
2. Ruck rules: The referee will now be able to signal six to go instead of blowing a penalty for minor ruck infringements. When they do blow a penalty, a player will be automatically sin-binned.
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3. No crowds: Teams had this experience in Round 2. But now having no one watching at the venues is the norm and shows no signs of changing in the short term.
4. Home-ground advantage? The NRL has allocated teams home venues, meaning there is no true home-ground advantage until at least Round 9 unless you're Parramatta, Wests Tigers, Brisbane, North Queensland or Melbourne. That could prove pivotal even without fans.
5. Pay cuts: Players agreed to have their salary slashed by 20 per cent this season. Discussions about long-term cuts are continuing, with suggestions the salary cap could be dropped next year and beyond.
6. No Todd: The last time footy was played, Todd Greenberg was still NRL chief executive. Greenberg is now out the door and chief commercial officer Andrew Abdo is in the hot seat.
7. Bubbles and bans: Players and staff - as part of the NRL's 50-person per club register - have to abide by strict biosecurity protocols. That includes no visitors, no playing golf and documenting their whereabouts every day.
8. Wait for Origin: State of Origin team selection would usually be dominating pub chats right about now. But you'll have to wait until November for the annual interstate series and the hot prospect of three games in three weeks.
9. No lower grades: The respective Queensland and NSW reserve grade competitions have been cancelled, along with the junior under-16 and under-18 competitions. Clubs have indicated they may share players to make up teams to play practice games for non-NRL players.
10. Rule refresher: Don't forget there were a host of rule changes brought in to start the initial season, including a captain's challenge per team until unsuccessful; 20/40; the banning of tackling a player in the air; and three options to feed the scrum.
Originally published as New rules for reboot: 10 biggest changes since lockdown