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NRL puts clock on time wasters in restarts

The NRL has moved to reduce time wasting after conversion attempts by putting a shot clock on an opposition team's restarts during the game.

In a win for fans, referees will now call time off for 30 seconds after a conversion in a move the governing body claims will add an average of three minutes of real game time.

"At the moment, the time taken for players to return to the halfway line to restart play is wasted time as far as the fans are concerned," NRL manager of elite competitions Jason King said.

The clock has previously been stopped in the last five minutes of play where scores were close.

"... but the fans see no football," King said.

"An extra three minutes of actual play can have a big bearing on the outcome of a game.

"Over the course of the season, this move will give fans the equivalent of more than 720 minutes - or seven more games - of rugby league."

The change is one of four major focus points for match officials season, including a crackdown on players making genuine attempts to play the ball with their foot.

Referees have also been encouraged to use the sin bin for foul play, as well as one-on-one strips now allowing for an initial tackler to fall off before a play at the ball is made.

© AAP 2018