The RFL outline multiple changes ahead of the new rugby league season

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The RFL have outlined multiple changes for the 2022 season across rugby league.

A better understanding of Covid-19 has prompted some of these, including the re-introduction of scrums, which have been absent since the start of the pandemic.

The governing body say now is the right time to bring them back due to the transmission risk is lower than initially thought and isolation requirements are now different, with 85 per cent of players being vaccinated also being a key factor.

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As well as this, as previously announced, clubs are teams are expected to fulfil all fixtures, and will forfeit a game 48-0 if they are not able to play.

Scrums have been re-introducedScrums have been re-introduced
Scrums have been re-introduced

Teams will be expected to use their reserve and academy squads if needed.

Meanwhile, if a club is shut down by Public Health England, the case will be considered by a board sub-committee, who will make a decision about the match.

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Another key addition to this season could be the introduction of instrumented mouth guards to combat the risk of concussion by measuring impacts.

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Leeds Rhinos and Salford Red Devils have previously already used these, and they are set to be introduced across the sport.

A four-phase study has taken place and is currently under review.

This entailed: determining the reliability and validity of the measures; providing a sample of academy players who will wear in matches to examine it on-field; providing a sample of elite rugby league players to evaluate fit, function and comfort from their perspective; and evaluating the practical feasibility of the from a practitioner's perspective.

Furthermore, referee Robert Hicks outlined new guidelines, which includes an 11-day return to play after concussion.

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This also featured slight changes on tackling guidelines around late tackles meaning a charge can be give if there is flexion to the neck, while serious action will be taken against deliberate acts of foul play, such as punching, especially around the head.

For 2022 there are some changes in the law as well.

The ball steal rule has reverted back to the old interpretation, where players are not allowed to drop off and removes the opportunity for defenders to steal the ball when the attacker is in the process of scoring.

Meanwhile, scrums can be taken in a lateral position, with the default position being the 20-metre mark.

An early break will lead to a penalty, but the team can opt to re-form the scrum, in which case if there is another break the offending player will be sent to the sin bin.

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There are also changes around the treatment of players to speed up the game, while golden point remains the same in Super League, while it will be extended in the Challenge Cup, with additional interchanges allowed.

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