The Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars will again break new ground with an experimental rule designed to promote attacking play from deep within a team’s own half.

The experimental rule will give the team in possession the opportunity for six more tackles if it kicks and regains the ball in its own half (see full rule below).

The All Stars will also include a number of special broadcasting changes including on-field microphones relaying the instructions of trainers Wendell Sailor (Learn. Earn. Legend! Indigenous All Stars) and Brad Fittler (NRL All Stars), microphones in team huddles during first and third quarter team talks, a two-way link between the commentators and video referee to allow them to discuss decisions and the possibility of on field interviews with players after scoring plays.

“This spirit in which this match is played allows us to try a lot of ideas,” NRL Chief Executive, Mr David Gallop, said today.

“Not surprisingly in this match they all focus on promoting attacking play.

“Last year we trialled an extra tackle instead in lieu of a conversion and it was a lot of fun.

“They aren’t necessarily going to end up as rules in the NRL but they do give us an insight into areas that we can look to evolve in the game from time to time.”

Rule Change: If a player in possession of the ball in his team’s half of the field kicks the ball and it is re-gathered by him or any member of his team, the referee shall signal 6 more tackles for the team in possession provided that -:

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The ball has traveled at least 5 metres in a forward direction (towards the opponent’s goal line).

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The kick has reached the point at which the previous play the ball (ruck) took place.

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The ball is regained by the attacking team prior to the half way mark. If the ball is kicked in the defensive half of the field but is regained in the attacking half, the referee shall not restart the tackle count.