Blake Austin no fan of NRL’s shot clock

Canberra star Blake Austin isn’t a fan of the NRL’s new shot clock, believing the game is fast – and physically taxing – enough.

From next season, a time limit will be placed on scrums and line dropouts – possibly adding up to two minutes of live action to each match.

The number of interchanges will also be reduced from 10 to eight.

While five-eighth Austin is happy with the latter change, he reckons the shot clock is perhaps a step too far.

“I think our game’s fast enough,” he said.

“It’s easy for the blokes who sit there and watch the game to say they want a faster game and to speed things up, but we’re flat out on the field.

“We’re already doing 12, 13-week pre-seasons – we don’t want any longer or any harder pre-seasons.

“Well done on the interchange, but shot clock I think might be going a bit too far.”

NRL Head of Football Todd Greenberg on Wednesday said the move wasn’t a case of simply wanting to speed the game up, but keeping play continuous and limiting player injuries.

Austin believes it’s going to be a big challenge, especially for forwards.

“To get blokes like (Raiders prop) Shannon Boyd and those kind of guys hurried into a scrum, it’s going to be a big ask,” he added.

Teammate Sam Williams is of a different opinion, believing it won’t have too much of an impact.

“Obviously the NRL has done a lot of research into and there’s a reason why they make decisions in the game,” the injured halfback said.

“I’m sure they spoke to a lot of key people in making those decisions, but I don’t think it’s too big an issue, the shot clock.

“I don’t think it’s going to change too much – if it speeds the game up, I’ve got no issues with it.”

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