League: Benefit of the doubt axed, Origin rules changed

James Tamou in action for  the Blues during this year's State of Origin. Photo / Getty Images
James Tamou in action for the Blues during this year's State of Origin. Photo / Getty Images

The ARLC has scrapped the controversial benefit of the doubt system and dramatically overhauled the decision-making process for awarding tries.

From the start of the 2013 NRL season referees will make an on-field call in relation to all try-scoring situations, and if in doubt will signal `time out' and refer to the video referee.

However the video referee will only change the on-field referees' original decision if there is sufficient evidence to suggest that decision was wrong.

At a dramatic ARLC meeting on Tuesday, another major change was also made to State of Origin eligibility.

From 2013 no player will be eligible to play for NSW or Queensland unless he has lived in that state before the age of 13, or unless he is the son of an Origin player.

The player must also be eligible to play for Australia.

The ARLC also clarified the definition of what will constitute an illegal shoulder charge.

"Where a defender, without attempting to tackle, grab or hold the ball-carrier (or any opposing player) using the arms or hands, makes direct physical contact using the shoulder or the upper arm (tucked into the side),'' the ARLC statement read.

- AAP

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