NRL caps practice games at five each

Laine Clark
Suspended Brisbane forward Pat Carrigan (left) should feature in a NRL scrimmage match this weekend

The NRL have capped practice games for fringe players at five per club this season.

More inter-club scrimmages have been organised this weekend after Melbourne and Penrith faced off in a modified game last week.

Practice games featuring players outside the club's respective 21-man squad will be held before both the North Queensland-Newcastle clash in Townsville and Brisbane's round seven derby with Gold Coast - both on Saturday.

Cowboys fringe players will take on the Knights in a match with up to 11 a side at Queensland Country Bank Stadium before the main game kicks off.

And a Broncos outfit expected to feature suspended forwards Pat Carrigan and Tom Flegler will face off with the Titans at Suncorp Stadium ahead of the NRL game.

Clubs have been looking to find ways to give fringe players much needed game time after being forced to gauge their form at training following the scrapping of the second tier NSW and Queensland Cup competitions in March.

Scrimmages will feature NRL referees but will be capped at five per team to ensure clubs don't receive an unfair advantage by organising more practice games than others.

"The NRL have capped it at five games to ensure equity and consistency across all 16 clubs due to schedule conflicts and travel restrictions," an NRL spokesman said.

Cowboys coach Paul Green said he had felt for the fringe players who had missed out on games so far this season.

"They have probably had the toughest part out of all of us," he said.

"They have been committed to strict protocols and they don't get to play at the end of the week (with no reserve grade).

"It will be a huge boost not only for them in terms of footy preparation but also mentally.

"And for the young guys involved it will be their first taste of what a game might be like so that will be huge for them."