Super League to resume without scrums as RFL confirm rule changes

Super League will restart without scrums when the competition resumes in August, the Rugby Football League has confirmed.

Tuesday, 7th July 2020, 7:27 am
Updated Tuesday, 7th July 2020, 7:31 am
Super League will restart without scrums when the competition resumes in August. Picture: SWPix

The RFL board has ratified a host of rule changes to combat the coronavirus impact when Super League resumes next month.

Super League will also adopt the "six again" rule also ushered in by the NRL, where the bulk of ruck infringements are penalised by restarting the tackle count and not a penalty.

The RFL board has also delayed a decision on whether to restart the Championship and League One campaigns.

"The Covid-19 pandemic has presented all sports with immense challenges," said RFL chair Simon Johnson.

"We continue to work through these challenges in Rugby League, and our approach throughout has been to consider the interests of all our member clubs, and of the game as a whole.

"That is why we have been keen to communicate and consult as often as possible - and that consultation has revealed a wide range of opinions.

"After our meeting today, we are confirming some significant changes to the way the game will be played on the field when Rugby League resumes next month - which we believe are important and necessary to prioritise the welfare of players, and the success of the season when it resumes."

The Super League is due to resume on August 2, and RFL chiefs have now set a deadline of July 23 on whether to restart the lower two divisions.

"Following a survey of the 25 Betfred Championship and League 1 clubs that was conducted after their meeting last month to assess their current views, the board observed that for a majority of clubs in each competition, playing matches behind closed doors is impractical, given the costs and other logistical issues," read an RFL statement.

"However the board also noted that a small majority of clubs at both Championship and League 1 level preferred to hold open the possibility of resuming the season given the changing situation regarding the cost of antigen testing and the possibility of playing in front of crowds - while a majority also expressed support for the possibility of a meaningful competition later in the autumn and winter if that was the best available option.

"The board also have sympathy for the issues at Super League level, in terms of the integrity of their competition, and the need for clarity well ahead of the resumption of their 2020 season on August 2.

"Therefore the situation will be reviewed at the Board updates on the next two Mondays, July 13 and 20, with a decision to be made at the latest by July 23 - both on the resumption of the Championship and League 1 season, and on promotion and relegation between the competitions.

"That timeline also fits with a deadline for the five Championship and League 1 clubs who have qualified for the Sixth Round of the Coral Challenge Cup, to decide whether they feel it is feasible to continue in the competition."