Rugby League Innovations: NRL Concepts Set to Transform Officiating in 2025

Rugby League Embraces NRL Concepts: Bentham Outlines Plans for 2025 Innovations

Phil Bentham, the newly-appointed Head of Referees at the Rugby Football League (RFL), has revealed plans to introduce two highly popular NRL officiating concepts in the 2025 season. Bentham, a former long-serving Super League official, believes these innovations could significantly enhance the sport’s viewing experience.

One of the key changes on the horizon is the introduction of the Captain’s Challenge, a feature that has been widely embraced in the NRL. Bentham acknowledged that the lack of television coverage for some Super League games made the implementation of this concept challenging in the past. However, with the new TV deal in place, he is confident that the Captain’s Challenge will be a “great addition” to the game, benefiting both players and referees.

Additionally, Bentham is exploring the possibility of reducing the reliance on video referees, a practice that has drawn criticism from players and fans alike. He suggests allowing the on-field referee to make a quick check during the conversion setup, rather than halting the game to review the play. This approach, inspired by the “Bunker” system used in Australia, aims to maintain the excitement and flow of the game while ensuring accurate decision-making.

“These changes were already in the works for the 2024 season, and had I been appointed earlier, I would have implemented them sooner. However, I acknowledged the challenges of making significant rule changes midway through a season.”

The upcoming 2025 campaign is set to witness a significant shift in the way rugby league officiating is approached in the UK, with the introduction of these NRL-inspired concepts. Bentham’s vision to enhance the sport’s viewing experience and empower both players and referees has set the stage for an exciting future in the world of rugby league.

🔗 Source