As an ex-hooker, it’s no surprise new Vodafone Warriors head coach Nathan Brown was more than excited about one key aspect of the just-completed 2020 NRL season.
It’s also safe to say it’s a development rugby league wouldn’t have seen had it not been for the impact Covid-19 had on the 2020 campaign.
For it was while the season was suspended that one of the greatest initiatives the game has seen was unveiled.
Suddenly, with little time to prepare for it, the 16 NRL teams were told the 2020 programme would resume under the radical six-again rule. To say there was anxiety about it would be a gross understatement but there were few, if any, dissenting views within a matter of weeks.
Brown might just be the leader of the fan club and he’s relishing the chance to explore the full scope of the rule.
“There’s no doubt the game became more open,” he said in the second of a two-part www.warriors.kiwi interview he did with Sky Sport’s Daryl Halligan .
“We’ve seen smaller players, whether it be smaller middle forwards, halves or hookers getting far more opportunities to pick on bigger players.
“Under the old rules I think the smaller players were far more disadvantaged. With the ruck being the way it was, and the interchange being the way it was, the bigger players certainly got to have a bigger advantage over the smaller ones. Now it seems to be on more of an even keel.
I think the changes are something that had to happenNathan Brown Vodafone Warriors head coach
“I think the changes are something that had to happen. I’m not sure who came up with the rule (six again), whether it was Wayne (Bennett) or someone who tipped Peter V’landys up, but credit to him for having the ticker to make the change.
“To be honest, when he made it over Covid, I thought this is risky not giving the teams the chance to practise these rules. It was a big call but fair play to him. I think it has made our game better from a spectacle point of view to help people some to the games.”
In the second part of the interview, Brown also covers off his views on player development and what the Vodafone Warriors need to do to become a regular finals side.