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Captain's Challenge approved for 2020 season

The Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) has given final approval for the “Captain’s Challenge” to be used in the 2020 NRL Telstra Premiership Season after successful trials. 

The NRL today advised all clubs the Captain’s Challenge would be used from the opening round of the competition after the proposal was successfully used by teams in the All Stars and Charity Shield matches.

NRL Chief Executive Todd Greenberg said the Commission had been pleased with how the system operated during trial matches and in consultation with the Football Department had approved its implementation. 

“This is an exciting innovation for our game,’’ he said. 

“It will add an additional layer of excitement, unpredictability and tactics to matches. Most importantly though, it provides an opportunity for a wrong decision to be overturned.”
 

Mr Greenberg said the implementation of the Captain’s Challenge was an example of the game listening to fans. 

“At the end of last season, we conducted a fan survey and the biggest issue they raised was the impact of an incorrect decision on the game,’’ he said. 

“The Commission has listened to our fans, taken on board what they said and brought in an innovation which gives clubs the opportunity to overturn a wrong decision.”

NRL Head of Football Graham Annesley said he was pleased with how the system worked in recent weeks and would continue working with clubs to ensure all captains were clear on the system. 

“There were multiple Captain’s Challenges on the weekend and the system worked well, with feedback from our broadcasters also positive,’’ he said. 

“We have spent a lot of time explaining the system to our clubs, players, media and broadcast partners and that will continue in the lead up to Round One.”

How it works: 

· Only a captain or nominated co-captain can challenge a decision. Should the captain or co-captain be off the field, another player can be nominated to take his place. 

· Each team is allowed one unsuccessful challenge per game. 

· The only decision that can be challenged are ones which involve a structured restart of play (e.g penalty, scrum, drop-out, etc.)

· Challenges will not be permitted where the referee allows play to proceed.