SUPER RUGBY WARATAHS HIGHLANDERS
Super Time, goal line drop outs, and red card replacements are among seven new laws to be introduced as Super Rugby Australia tries to lure fans back to the game.
Australian Super teams will get a preview of two of the rules this weekend, with Super Rugby Aotearoa, which kicks off on Saturday in Dunedin, also embracing change.
The two rules that both competitions will introduce are 10 minutes extra time to decide a draw - to be called Super Time in Australia - and the ability to replace a red-carded player after 20 minutes.
Folllowing criticism about the lack of time the ball is in play, referees in both countries will also be cracking down on policing the breakdown, limiting the number of scrum resets and being on the lookout for cynical play.
Super Rugby AU will also borrow from NRL, with dropouts taken from the tryline instead of the 22 to encourage more short attacking kick options near the line.
They will also tweak league's 40/20 kick rule to be a 50/22 and 22/50 and eliminate marks in the 22.
Wallabies prop Scott Sio backed the changes, but said forwards may need to improve their fitness with the game set to speed up.
"You've always got to spice it up when you're trying something new, add a bit of variety," Sio said.
"And it gives the viewership something new to watch; hopefully some more exciting footy in the attacking halves, players trying something new ... hopefully we see some pretty skilful and exciting footy.
"You might have to get a tad fitter and at my age you tend to go the other way, that's where the game's probably going just generally around the world.
"(The trend appears to be to) speed the game up, having a good balance between attacking footy and set piece."
The law variations were developed and agreed upon last month by a 24-strong group of coaches, players, referees and administrators.
Rugby Australia director of rugby Scott Johnson, who co-ordinated the working party, said they hoped to make the game more entertaining, while still preserving the integrity of the game.
He hoped the law changes would enhance the skills of the players.
"Throughout the process we stuck to the principle that whatever we changed, the game still had to be rugby, and nothing could compromise the Wallabies' preparation for Test rugby," Johnson said.
"In fact, I believe the changes we have implemented will broaden and enhance the capabilities of our players."
Super Rugby AU will get under way on July 3 when Queensland Reds host NSW Waratahs at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium.