AMATEUR rugby league returns this weekend – and there will be plenty of nervous eyes on how things go from higher up the pyramid.

Change is coming to rugby league as it seeks to make the game safer and cut down on concussion-related injuries, with the legal tackle height to be lowered to below the armpit.

The law was trialled briefly in several academy fixtures last year but now, it will be in permanent force in that competition and the community game before being rolled out into the professional ranks this year.

For head coaches across the local and regional leagues, it has been a case of coaching players out of the habit of a lifetime and Crosfields’ Rob Campbell is no different.

The Soap get their National Conference League Division One campaign underway tomorrow by welcoming Skirlaugh to Hood Lane, and Campbell is sincerely hoping his side’s rugby does the talking.

However, he acknowledges some nervousness as to how games might look from now on.

“It's a difficult one because it’s obviously a hot topic in the game at the moment,” he told the Guardian.

“We’ve got to be squeaky-clean with it because I understand why they’ve brought those rules in.

“Whether I agree with them or not is a different conversation but the idea behind them is to keep players safe.

“It hit home when we played a pre-season game against Wigan St Judes and we gave more than 20 penalties away.

“Since then, we’ve really cracked down on it because you can see how it’s going to affect the game and the results of games. You can easily go from giving away maybe eight penalties a game to 20-odd.

“What we’ve tried to do in training is instead of maybe letting a few things go if someone tackles higher than they should, we’re pulling it up.

“My own personal opinion is that there has to be some room for common-sense with it.

“I completely understand the reasons why the rules have been brought in – the safety of the players is the most important thing – but there will be people who struggle with it.

“If I was still playing, I’d struggle because it’s just the habits people are used to but we’re going to try our best with it.

“We don’t want to be in a position where we’re spoiling games because of it. You don’t want to be watching a game and it just be penalty after penalty.

“It’s up to us to try and do our best with it – there’s no point moaning or complaining about it.”

Campbell is a well-known face in the town’s amateur circuit having spent a lengthy spell playing and coaching across town at Rylands Sharks.

He takes over the Hood Lane job from Matt Wilson, who led Crosfields to an impressive eighth-place finish in their first season back in Division One last year.

In order to build on that, the club have provided Campbell with what he believes could be “a major difference-maker” in the shape of Warrington Wolves hooker and former Soap junior Danny Walker, who will serve as assistant coach.

“He's been incredible and not many head coaches at our level have the opportunity to have someone like him helping them out,” Campbell said.

“Danny’s obviously a great player but he really knows the game.

“What I respect about him more than anything is how he studies the game and how educated he is about what he does

“Sometimes if you’re a great player, it doesn’t always come across into coaching but it does with Danny in how he speaks to the players.

“He could be a major difference-maker for us.

“It’s a good place for a new coach to start when the team is already doing well.

“Everything’s been really good so far – the committee have been great with me with bringing Danny in as well.

“We’re looking to improve upon a few little things to hopefully go that one step further this year.

“Our aim for this year is to make the play-offs – if you’re not aiming high, there’s no point especially at a club like Crosfields.”