AFL boss Gillon McLachlan says the league is looking at trialling proposed rule changes in dead rubber games. Picture: AAP
AFL boss Gillon McLachlan says the league is looking at trialling proposed rule changes in dead rubber games. Picture: AAP

Lions put hand up to trial new rules

BRISBANE is open to an AFL rules trial in-season despite the league being savaged by AFL greats for ruining the game's integrity.

Brisbane chief executive Greg Swann said on Wednesday the Lions were open to that kind of proposal.

They take on Gold Coast in Round 22, with the Lions and Suns having previously said the NEAFL curtain-raiser to that game was a better rule trials format.

As recently as last week the AFL had said an in-season rules trial would not go ahead this year.

But Swann, whose coach Chris Fagan is on the AFL's competition committee meeting, said the Lions were open to an AFL approach.

"They haven't asked us but Chris is with the Competition Committee today where you would think they might ask." Swann said.

The Lions are open to trialling new rules in their Round 22 clash against Gold Coast. Picture: Getty Images
The Lions are open to trialling new rules in their Round 22 clash against Gold Coast. Picture: Getty Images

"Our game against Gold Coast is probably the one they could do. If everyone is happy about that, it wouldn't bother us too much.

"No one is playing for a draft pick, both sides would be going out to win."

AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan revealed on Wednesday the league was having "a look at" trialling proposed rule changes in premiership matches this season.

McLachlan said there were games available in the closing rounds of the season that could be used for the trial which would not put the integrity of the competition at risk but clubs involved would need to be open to taking part in any trials which would be an ongoing conversation.

"(We're) certainly thinking about it," McLachlan said of the trials.

"I can tell you there is three fixtures on consecutive weekends that I don't think will have any bearing on the eight as we stand today.

"I know enough to know there's fixtures that are available where we could do it and we're certainly discussing whether that's appropriate and the emerging view is I think it is.

"I don't think there's any way there could be a risk to the integrity of the competition."

McLachlan said the idea was only something that had "come up in the last days" but would be further explored.

"I think that it actually has merit and we'll see where we get to over the coming weeks," he said on SEN radio.

Cameron Ling is less than impressed with the idea.
Cameron Ling is less than impressed with the idea. Scott Barbour

Critics including Leigh Matthews and Cameron Ling have attacked the AFL, with Swann admitting it was a left-field suggestion.

"But people can get a full game trial in and see what effect the rules have. We would support it philosophically."

Adelaide forward Josh Jenkins, however, backed the proposed trials, saying trials in games between two non-finals teams would have no impact on the integrity of the competition.

"Yes, changing the rules of an AFL game would be compromising the competition but when you actually take the time to think about it, the positives of seeing what the new rules look like in a match environment as opposed to any compromising of games is far outweighed in favour of viewing the future," Jenkins said.

Adelaide forward Josh Jenkins likes the ideal.
Adelaide forward Josh Jenkins likes the ideal. Daniel Kalisz

Meanwhile, a proposed 17-5 fixture will not be coming into the AFL next year, with the league still weighing up the benefits with potential problems it brings.

The format would see each club play the other 17 teams once and then be grouped into sixes to meet sides around them on the ladder in the final five rounds.

AFL boss Gillon McLachlan said while he believed the format "has merit", the evenness of the competition meant there was no need to rush it in.

"Brisbane (was) very close to beating Adelaide on the weekend. (Gold Coast) Suns pop up and beat Sydney and effect their top-four chances," McLachlan said.

"Those bottom-four teams are right in it, it doesn't matter what you are thinking, and you don't have that under the model of 17-5.

"It's off (the table) for next year, 100 per cent."



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