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Graham Annesley says the ‘knock-back’ rule still exists

The NRL’s Head of Football (Elite competitions) Graham Annesley says the ‘knock-back’ rule still does exist in rugby league.

It’s been a common instance in the NRL where a player has dropped the ball and despite it seemingly travelling backwards, it’s still been called as a knock-on.

The NRL will introduce a Captain’s Challenge trial at this week’s All Stars clash and next week’s Charity Shield that will allow each team’s captain to lodge one unsuccessful challenge at a structured restart.

Annesley told Wide World of Sports radio he’ll ensure referees pay close attention to drop balls that may travel backwards.

“I get just as frustrated as anybody with some of those calls,” Annesley said.

“Yes the referees have to be guarded to not make an error on a knock-on, but just because the ball hits the deck, it doesn’t automatically make it a knock-on.

“The referee does have to determine whether the ball is propelled towards the opponent’s goal line or not.

“Bernard Sutton, the referees coach, has to work very hard with the referees on those sort of interpretations.

“The rule hasn’t changed, it’s always been there and we do have knock-backs in this game.”

A challenge will not be permitted where the referee allows play to proceed.

Click ‘play’ to hear the full interview below.

Matt King/Getty Images.