The AFL has announced that it will trial four field umpires in a league match for the first time this weekend.

The Australian has reported that the AFL will trial four umpires instead of three in Saturday night’s match between Brisbane and Gold Coast.

The trial will then continue in the remaining five rounds of the regular season.

Four field umpires have also been trialed at NAB Challenge games the past two pre-seasons and AFL football operations boss Mark Evans said that it could become the norm.

“In the NAB Challenge, there were less missed free kicks and there was the same amount of unwarranted free kicks,” Evans told The Australian.

“Having an extra set of eyes resulted in less mistakes. We actually think there is one free kick per game just out of the centre bounce that we would pick up with another umpire.”