With the drop in interchanges in 2016, Bulldogs outside backs Sam Perrett and Curtis Rona believe their work rate will increase over the course of the season.
There are many unanswered questions that come with the rule change. Which teams will adapt better? Which teams have trained for the rule change? Will sides select an outside back or an extra number nine on their bench? and according to Bulldogs winger Curtis Rona, the rule change will mean more work for the outside backs.
“I think it will be tiring on the forwards, so it will be a bit of a game changer,” Rona said.
“I think the backs will have to get in there and help them out and I’m more than happy to put my hand up.”
Kick returns and dummy half running are key areas for any outside back and one player who has built his game on this for more than 10 years is Sam Perrett, who also agrees that he may be required to do a bit more work than he has in the past.
“I can’t see it taking a huge toll on us, but I think it will affect the forwards a bit more,” said Perrett.
“It will be interesting to see, but it might come back on us aswell and we might have to do some more work.”
When the NRL announced the number of interchanges would drop from 10 to eight in 2016 (combined with a shot clock reducing breaks in play), the Bulldogs forward pack was the first many thought would struggle with the change, but centre Josh Morris thinks otherwise.
“In terms of our team, I think James (Graham) and Aiden (Tolman) play big minutes, so I’m not too sure that the big fella’s role will change too much,” Morris said.
“With all the running that the forwards have been doing has them getting around the field really well.
“I’m really excited to see how these bokes go with the interchange dropping.”
The number of interchanges will be reduced to eight and a shot clock will be introduced to reduce stoppages under landmark changes to the NRL Telstra Premiership for season 2016.
What you will see:
- The number of interchanges reduced from 10 to eight
- Four players remain on the bench to make those interchanges
- A shot clock introduced for drop outs and scrums