AFLW medi-sub rule call 'weak': Clarke

·2-min read

AFLW Adelaide coach Matthew Clarke thinks calls for the medi-sub rule to be introduced in the women's league are "pretty weak".

Earlier in the week, Melbourne key defender Libby Birch and Hawthorn coach Bec Goddard called for the rule to be implemented after more than seven players came down with season-ending injuries in the opening rounds of the season.

Birch wrote in an opinion piece published on the AFLW website on Tuesday that allowing a medical substitution to replace a player deemed medically unfit will prevent injury risks.

Goddard added having the ability to use an extra player will make sure players can run out the entire game.

Hawthorn were left with only three players on the bench for the remainder of the match after losing Tamara Luke (knee) and Louise Stephenson (ankle).

But Clarke believes five on the bench is enough to manage one injury, "probably even two".

"We've also got unlimited interchange and the quarters are shorter," Clarke told reporters on Friday.

"I don't think there's a need."

Across the city, Port Adelaide coach Lauren Arnell said she didn't have a view on the medi-sub and will play with whatever numbers on the field and on the bench.

"I think once you start changing things, as you see with AFL men's, different things are manipulated by different people," said Arnell.

"We manage what's in front of us."

Port Adelaide played the Western Bulldogs last weekend where young Bulldog Britney Gutknecht suffered a horror leg injury.

Play was paused for 20 minutes waiting for the arrival of another ambulance to comply with a league requirement which details at least one ambulance in attendance for every match.

Asked whether the game should have paused for so long, Clarke added it happened all over the state every weekend with local football matches.

"From a league's perspective we want to provide an environment that is absolutely best practice for our players," said Clarke.

"If it means waiting until the ambulance arrive, then so be it."

The Crows will be looking for another win against North Melbourne tomorrow at Unley Oval.