NRL reduced interchange: The players set to struggle with changes — What you missed on TV

NRL reduced interchange: The players set to struggle with changes — What you missed on TV

IT was a big night in rugby league with the boys from NRL360 and Sterlo: On The Couch addressing all the major talking points in the game.

From the impact reduced interchange will have on the NRL’s big men to the latest on possible player movement, the two Fox Sports shows didn’t miss a beat.

 

Grim future for the big men

With the interchange being reduced next season, Paul Kent identified five players who will need to trim down in order to compete in a game set to be more endurance-based.

Going from 10 changes to either eight or six, Kent said the following big boppas will need to start working hard now to increase their fitness levels so they can cope with the increased game time.

DOGS’ JURASSIC PARK NOT AFRAID OF INTERCHANGE

George Rose (129kg) — Dragons

Sam Kasiano (125kg) — Bulldogs

Shannon Boyd (122kg) — Raiders

Pauli Pauli (120kg) — Eels

Tony Williams (120kg) — Bulldogs

“It will be interesting for a couple of those players and whether they can push out more minutes,” Kent said.

“The 25 minute player is going to have to start putting out 50-60 minutes a game.”

***

Manly ‘fine’ with reduced interchange

With confirmation that the interchange numbers will be reduced next season, the only thing still to be decided is whether the game goes from 10 to eight or Paul Kent and Ben Ikin’s preferred “rip the band-aid off” and limit it to six.

Geoff Toovey supports a reduced interchange but says the importance of the bench to NRL teams can’t be underestimated.

“You can only predict so many things,” he said.

Toovey said in a perfect world with a 10 man interchange he would have a utility and three middle forwards.

That mix would potentially need a rethink with less changes but Toovey said the Sea Eagles would cope if the NRL went straight from 10 changes down to six.

“I have no issue with it but I think some teams will struggle,” Toovey said.

***

Who would your club love on their roster?

Kevin Walters and Geoff Toovey were the guests on NRL 360 for coaches night and they were asked to identify who they would love to bring to their club if they could have anyone other than Greg Inglis.

Kevin Walters (Broncos assistant coach): “You’d have to go Sam Burgess. I’d poach him back. I’d love to see him back in the NRL, particularly in a Broncos jersey.”

Geoff Toovey (Manly coach): “I’d take Jesse Bromwich — he is going real well. He would give our side some size and speed around the ruck area.”

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Club doctors’ integrity sacred

 Bringing in independent doctors to conduct concussion testing on players has been a hot topic this week after several incidents on the weekend in which the two club doctors on the sideline didn’t see eye-to-eye.

Asked his thoughts on a change to the current system though, Geoff Toovey wasn’t budging.

“I think it’s got to be a team doctor,” Toovey said. “An independent doctor will always err on the side of caution. The club doctor will always look after the player. If he is confident he can proceed in the game he will play on.”

Paul Kent disagreed saying the issue is whether he is concussed or not. If he has been he should not be allowed back on.

Bulldogs captain James Graham controversially suggested to the media that a decision on whether or not a player could go back onto the field with a head knock should be left with the player but Toovey said that wasn’t acceptable either.

“You cant do that,” Toovey said. “But you can’t query the (club) doctor’s integrity.”

***

Mortimer asked for release

Ben Dobbins from Triple M told NRL360 Daniel Mortimer would play from the bench at best in first grade for the rest of the season and revealed the embattled Titans halfback had tried to leave the club.

“He was asking for a release at the start of the year,” Dobbins said. “He wont play first grade again this year as a halfback.”

Dobbins also revealed Wayne Bennett was spotted in Newcastle on Wednesday and said the super coach was there to speak to Dane Gagai about joining the Broncos next season.

***

Another ‘black eye’ for the NRL

Dane Nielsen has been accused of biting a woman’s leg during a drunken night out on Sunday.

NRL360 co-hosts Paul Kent and Ben Ikin said it was another black eye for the code which continues to be tarnished by misbehaving players.

“It’s now with the Integrity Unit,” Kent said.

“We wait and see what they come up with.”

Ikin added; “When stuff like this happens alcohol is always involved.”

That point brought the discussion to the possibility of brining in a drinking ban.

“Nobody is perfect — we have all made poor choices,” Ikin said. “My hope would be that if an alcohol policy places repeat offenders on a banned list … They can choose their career over the grog.”

***

Incredible footage with Segeyaro mic’d up

 James Segeyaro was mic’d up for Sterlo.

The hooker’s reaction on Dallin Watene-Zelezniak’s ‘no try’ on Monday was priceless.

“Did you get it? You know you’re Mormon, you can’t lie,” Segeyaro told the winger.

“You’re a freak. You freak.”

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Bring in captain’s challenge

Gorden Tallis has told Sterlo: On The Couch the NRL should introduce a captain’s challenge to have the referees make less decisions.

“Putting it on the captains places less pressure on the referee,” he said.

“The players know when they scored.”

***

Cowboys forwards to blame

The Cowboys are yet to win a game this season and Gorden Tallis says the buck stops with the forwards.

“They looked tired,” Tallis said. “They look like they’ve never played together.”

Originally published as Giants to struggle with reduced interchange

-news.com.au

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