MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 30: Gillon McLachlan, Chief Executive Officer of the AFL speaks to media during the Sir Doug Nicholls Round Media Opportunity at Galleria on May 30, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

AFL boss Gillon McLachlan today confirmed that major rule changes could be trialled later this season in matches that don’t affect the top eight.

McLachlan stated there are a handful of games in the final rounds of the year that don’t involve any teams in the hunt for finals and could be used as trial matches for the rule changes.

“Certainly thinking about it,” McLachlan told SEN on Wednesday morning.

“I can tell you that there’s three fixtures on consecutive weekends that I don’t think will have any bearing on the eight, as we stand today … we’ve got another couple of weeks to play.

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“I know enough to know there’s fixtures available to do it and we’re certainly discussing whether that’s appropriate, and the emerging view is that I think it is.”

The chief executive thinks conducting the trials in real matches that are being played for premiership points could be more beneficial than in practise matches or pre-season games.

“You get to see it in real time, in a game, with four points, with a win and loss on the end of it,” he said.

McLachlan is also adamant that these trials won’t be any risk to the integrity of the competition.

“If you trialled something between the two clubs and they weren’t playing another team that’s competing for the eight, I don’t think there’s any way it could be a risk to the integrity of the competition,” the AFL CEO said.

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Possible rule changes  

  • Starting positions – six forward, six centre, six back
  • A bigger goal square
  • Reducing interchange rotations

Possible trial games

R21 – Fremantle v Carlton
R22 – Gold Coast v Brisbane
R22 – Carlton v Western Bulldogs
R23 – St Kilda v North Melbourne
R23 – Carlton v Adelaide