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Calls grow for AFL to ease runners clamp

While star Essendon AFL recruit Dylan Shiel wants the new runners rule scrapped, Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley says his team are prepared either way.

Calls grow for AFL to ease runners clamp

While star Essendon AFL recruit Dylan Shiel wants the new runners rule scrapped, Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley says his team are prepared either way.

Bulldogs coach LUKE BEVERIDGE looks on during a Western Bulldogs AFL training session at Whitten Oval in Melbourne, Australia.
Bulldogs coach LUKE BEVERIDGE looks on during a Western Bulldogs AFL training session at Whitten Oval in Melbourne, Australia. Picture:Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Star Essendon recruit Dylan Shiel is the latest AFL figure to back a softening of the league's crackdown on runners.

While Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley and Carlton assistant John Barker were non-committal after Monday's close pre-season game in Morwell, Shiel wanted the new rule scrapped.


Over the past few days, Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge, St Kilda counterpart Alan Richardson and Brisbane veteran Luke Hodge have all called for the AFL to loosen the new restrictions on runners.

As it stands, runners can only be on the field after a goal is kicked.

"I've noticed in the (pre-season) it's making it challenging," Shiel told Macquarie Sports Radio.

"Personally, I'd like them to scrap the rule."

The AFL appears unlikely to change the rule before round one, despite Beveridge's confidence that it will happen.

Carlton senior coach Brendon Bolton coached from the boundary line in the last quarter in Morwell as his young side lost to Collingwood by four points.

"What it does is it creates great opportunities for on-field leadership and organisation," Barker said of the runner restrictions.

"With a young group, the requirement for growth in that area is significant."

Barker smiled when asked if the league should change the new rule.

"The AFL makes a lot of very good decisions and they are the rules as is," he replied.

Buckley said he did not expect the league to scrap the new rule before the start of the season.

"I don't think the runners have been a particular blight on the game, or the view of the game," he said.

"As a coach, you want to have a few more opportunities to pull levers and to have some eyes and ears go out ... but the reality is we've prepared all season for not having it.

"We have no fears either way."

AAP


AAP




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