AAP Rugby

NRL to trial 20-40 at World Nines

By AAP Newswire

The NRL will consider introducing the 20-40 rule after announcing they will trial the concept at this year's World Cup of Nines.

The October 18-19 event at BankWest Stadium will mark the first time that the rule will be implemented in first grade football, with the NRL's decision makers set to monitor closely.

Similar to the 40-20, if an attacking team kicks the ball from inside their 20 metre zone and it lands beyond the opposition 40 metre line, they will be given possession.

And NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said if it proves to be a success, he will consider asking the competition committee to consider implementing it into the NRL.

"There's always opportunities for the competition committee to look at innovations," Greenberg said.

"And to be fair, I think we've done that over the last few years with things like shot clocks and changes we've brought into the game to ensure it continues to be entertaining and free-flowing.

"If the 20-40 rule is something that really takes hold and players enjoy it, fans enjoy it and it's easy to officiate, we'd look at it for sure."

There will be several rule changes from the 13-a-side game, which have been seen during the Auckland Nines over previous years.

These include a bonus zone, with teams to be awarded an extra point if they score underneath the posts.

As well, drawn matches will be decided by golden try rather than golden point.

Greenberg said the event gave the NRL the opportunity to trial potential new rules.

"I'm sure (the 20-40) is something the competition committee will look at," Greenberg said.

"I think the concept is if you're pinned in your own 20, you've got the ability to take a risk, you get a significant reward. It'll be interesting to see how much it gets utilised and the preparedness of the players to take that risk.

"It adds another dimension to it. As does the bonus try-scoring area, for those who watched ... the club nines in Auckland, was fantastic.

"We're looking to be innovative and looking to use the nines for rule changes that are innovative."

Australia has been drawn in Group A alongside New Zealand, PNG and USA.

Group B includes England, France, Lebanon and Wales while Group C features Tonga, Samoa, Fiji and Cook Islands.

The top two teams from Group A will advance to the semi-finals alongside the top sides from B and C.