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11 Man Rugby League??



Has anyone heard about this yet?

Originally posted by SMH

Anyone for a quick game of 11-a-side?

November 15, 2006

NRL officials will take the first step in the most radical rethink of the game in a century by suggesting a series of trial games using 11 players a side.

The bold idea is to experiment with four fewer players on the field so the game becomes more open and attack-focused.

The idea is still in its infancy but the discussion of it at the game's highest levels suggests it has some merit. Already several clubs, such as the Roosters and Penrith, use 11-a-side games in junior trials, and those who have watched are enthusiastic about the change.

There has been a chorus of criticism from some of the game's great thinkers about the proliferation of dummy-half running and brick-wall defence. Warren Ryan and Ricky Stuart believe opening up the lateral space would make for a more entertaining and creative game.

But such a significant adjustment to the structure of the game will upset traditionalists as well as the slow-moving props who would be the likely victims of the up-tempo version.

League developed as a separate game when it split from rugby union in 1906, reducing the number of players on the field from 15 to 13. But over the past century, the fitness levels of the players and the speed of the game has increased dramatically.

It is understood NRL referees director Robert Finch will put the proposal to make several of next year's pre-season trial games 11-a-side to a group of NRL coaches, senior players and club officials who are meeting today in Sydney to discuss possible rule changes. The trials would be observed by the game's powerbrokers to analyse the style and type of play that would result.

The idea was mooted at a rules think tank last week, which included delegates from Great Britain and New Zealand, who cautiously supported it being raised at today's meeting.

For the concept to proceed, the meeting would have to recommend a trial which would have to be approved by the NRL board.


At first I thought this just sounded stupid, but it is true that dummy half running is used way too much and that it would be good to see a more open game, but still, I don't know if I want the game changed THAT much... nevertheless, I wouldn't mind watching this thing get trialed at the very least.

I'd be against this barmpot scheme but if anyone said to me that a hooker is an extra 7 I wouldn't argue.
Yep why don't they go even further and have League 7s....

The reason why they aren't saying 7's is that 7's is just too open. Ridiculously open. Whoever came up with sevens, in my mind needs shot.

I've been suggesting this for years. Not to replace league, but to replace sevens. They tried 9's at one stage in Australia, although I knew that was again too big a drop.

This idea will upset traditionalists, but as far as being the best mix of skilled, creative, yet still defensible league, then I say give it a try.

7's needs the chop. Where are the props who should be against that game instead?
Yeah, good points CA. You're right, it may upset the traditionalists, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be tried... If it doesn't work, then fair enough, but It's definately an intriguing proposition and I for one would love to see it in action to see how it goes.