MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 22: Ben McEvoy of the Hawks comes off with the blood rule during the round fiveAFL match between the North Melbourne Kangaroos and the Hawthorn Hawks at Etihad Stadium on April 22, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Veteran AFL journalist Mike Sheahan believes the blood rule in the modern game as become largely ‘obsolete’ compared to when it was integrated into the game 20 years ago.

According to Tim Watson and Sheahan, the rule was introduced to avoid infection and reduce the risk of players getting HIV or hepatitis.

Sheahan believes the way in which the rule is used today is unneeded in many cases, including the incident involving Melbourne ruckman Max Gawn against Geelong last weekend.

“The blood rule, in its traditional form of the last 20 years, is obsolete,” Sheahan told SEN Breakfast.

“I spoke to doctor Peter Larkins last night, he said the risk of infection is miniscule.

“It was two things, hepatitis and HIV but this was introduced 20 years ago when there was almost hysteria about the possibility of being infected.

“The doc reckons far too many players are coming off when they don’t need to, and we saw it six days ago.

“It probably cost Melbourne the game at Geelong.

“It shouldn’t be grazes and a hint of blood, it should be if it’s free flowing.”