Injured St George Illawarra captain Ben Hunt has hit out at the NRL for going “too far” with its recent rule changes, which he believes is the main factor behind the growing number of injuries this year.
Through four rounds this season, a number of NRL teams have been decimated by injuries, which has challenged medical staff and coaches.
Newcastle Knights coach Adam O’Brien on Sunday said he feared he would be unable to list a 21-man squad today after losing three players on the weekend, with his team already nursing a large casualty list.
While the Dragons are no strangers to injuries this season after Hunt fractured his fibula back in Round Three during the club’s win over the Sea Eagles. At the time, he played on with the injury after it was originally diagnosed as a badly corked calf.
The 31-year-old playmaker told Nine’s rugby league reporter Danny Weidler that he believes the NRL’s injury crisis has been brought on by the league’s ongoing efforts to bring more speed and fatigue into the game with its recent rule changes.
“I personally think the NRL has gone too far in trying to speed up the game too much and that’s what’s creating a lot of misfortune in the game at the moment,” Hunt told Nine News.
“Being out there, it’s ridiculously fast at the moment. It’s non-stop and I think that’s why there are more injuries creeping into the game.
“They’re stopping the clock all the time so there’s more game time. Everything’s faster and I think that’s what’s contributing.
“Anyone you talk to, if they’re going to be honest, they will say the same that the game has gotten to a pace where it’s pretty hard to keep up all the time.”
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