CHANGES to the “six-again” rule, scrum penalties and a clampdown on below-knee contact are among the law changes set to come into effect for the 2024 Super League season.

The Rugby Football League have confirmed that new amendments were approved by the board this week having been recommended by the laws committee.

It means that, from next season, teams will be awarded a full penalty as opposed to a “six again” for infringements within their own 40-metre line.

It had been felt that teams were deliberately giving away “six agains” when trying to limit the opposition’s yardage in order to get their defensive line set and gain a tactical advantage.

As part of this, match officials have been instructed to place greater emphasis on cleaning up the ruck area, ensuring that players regain their feet and make a genuine attempt to play the ball with their foot with greater sanctions for flops and hands in at the play-the-ball.

Furthermore, teams awarded penalties from scrums will now have the option of re-setting the scrum to encourage more attacking play and crack down on the deliberate concession of penalties, with the option of a sin-binning in use for a repeat offence.

The “18th man” interchange will be more readily available in 2024 – teams will be able to use the extra man in their squads if two players fail in-game HIAs as opposed to three, or when a player is deemed unable to continue with any injury that stems from foul play that has been punished by a yellow or red card.

The Laws Committee have also added a new sub-section to the dangerous contact charge which includes contact with the lower limb of the ball carrier.

Indicators for this charge/law breach are the tackler:

 •           Is off their feet at the point of contact with the ball carrier

•            Failed to attempt to wrap their arms around the ball carrier as the tackle was made

•            Made contact with the legs of the ball carrier on or below the knee

•            Put their own head in front of the ball carrier

•            In the opinion of the Referee, the player is not looking at the ball carrier when going into or on contact and approach to contact is out of control (e.g., eyes to floor)