Veteran Warriors playmaker Blake Green has revealed how the NRL ignored the advice of the game's senior coaches, players and referees in making major rule changes so close to the competition's restart.
Green said it was difficult to predict how the game might look under the changes, but he appeared to hold concerns, particularly over the six-again rule which replaces ruck infringement penalties.
The NRL has also scrapped the two-referee system used since 2009, returning to the days of one main man in the middle assisted by involved touch judges.
The 33-year-old Green, who is at his eighth club, was part of a player advisory group consulted by the NRL.
"I asked for no changes and they made two which shows how much I know," he said from the Warriors quarantine camp in Tamworth.
"Wade Graham and Daly Cherry-Evans were our spokespeople. They formed into a group with Cooper Cronk as an ex-player, a couple of coaches in Trent Robinson and Michael Maguire, a few refs.
"They discussed the changes - I received an email on Monday which outlined what they spoke about. Their preferred option was for those rules not to come into play and trial them in lower grades instead, reassess from there.
"Players and coaches were all on the same page (but) at the end of the day, the (ARL) commission is making the decision."
While Green said he had grown up under the one ref system, he would have to search out the 2012 All Stars game - where it was trialled - to get some idea of how the six-again rule influenced a match.
ARL Commission chairman Peter V'landys says the changes will encourage free-flowing football, but Green said it might simply encourage more one-up running.
"I hope it has a positive impact on the game - if it brings back some more fatigue and we see more linebreaks, great," he said.
"It is important to remember that as much as people want to be entertained and see tries, defence is a big part of the game. Whoever handles it defensively the best will go a long way to winning the competition.
"We only got confirmation of the rule change this morning and had a first crack at it at training. It is a tough one to handle. The game keeps flowing and you end up making 16 or 17 tackles in a row. It's a tough ask.
"As we saw in the first two games of the season, the advantage is around the ruck and teams are just kicking the door down the middle. There weren't that many tries scored from expansive footy.
"It could lead to a few more carries in the middle until the door falls over and you roll through that."
And he cited match situations where he would definitely prefer a penalty from an opponent's ruck error.
"Coming out of your end, 20 metres from the tryline, you've done a good job defensively, I'd prefer to kick the ball 30 metres downfield and have an attacking mindset from a set-piece.
"If it is 12-all and we are attacking their line and they are laying all over us, I'd prefer to have the two points (from a penalty)."