Castleford Tigers chief backs Super League rule changes

Castleford Tigers director of rugby Jon Wells.
Castleford Tigers director of rugby Jon Wells.

Castleford Tigers director of rugby Jon Wells reckons all the Super League clubs are set to be challenged by “significant” new rules set to come into force in the season ahead.

Changes including the new shot clock, golden point extra-time for drawn matches, two fewer substitutions and the end of the free play have been voted in for 2019.

Wells is broadly in favour of the rule changes, but knows clubs will have to adapt quickly.

He revealed that the Tigers have been given first hand lessons in how the new rules will be applied in a session with Super League referee James Child.

Wells explained: “The new rules brought in will be interesting for everybody.

“I think the shot clock is a real positive move.

“If I take my Cas hat off for a second and stick my Sky hat on a faster, more breathless game with less down time can only help the sport.

“It will help the casual viewer who just freezes on the remote for a second before he flicks between sports channels and he sees something that’s all-action.

“The subs feed into that with the number of interchanges being reduced.

“The free play’s gone - brilliant. Hated that, never liked it and it was never used properly.

“James Child, one of the senior referees, did a session with us last week and was saying it was now back to a traditional advantage at the discretion of the referee, which I’m all for.

“Golden point is in theory an interesting concept.

“I have no opinion one it one way or the other. I don’t sit hard on the traditional English sport and a draw can be a fair result. I’m neither a massive advocate for must have a winner.

“In reality I’m not sure how much of an impact it will have. Last year what were there in Super League, five draws? And I’m not sure how many of those were televised.

“Certainly the shot clock and the reduction of interchanges will have a significant and hopefully positive impact on the game.”