Manly coach Geoff Toovey says captain Jamie Lyon won’t have to change his on-field approach to referees despite recent NRL rule changes.
Lyon and Canterbury’s Michael Ennis are seen as two of the game’s leading debaters when it comes to discussing decisions with match officials.
But their approaches are set to be stymied by a new law that limits where and when captains can speak to referees.
Under new rules ushered in for the start of the 2014 season, captains will only be able to speak to referees during a stoppage in play, with players set to be waved away by the men in the middle at other times.
Toovey admitted to some displeasure at the rule changes, which also includes measures aimed at preventing time wasting and outlawing the cannonball and crusher tackles, but believes Lyon’s approach won’t be altered.
“I think Jamie will be fine,” Toovey said.
“He is probably the least of the referees’ worries. There are a few other captains I can think of off the top of my head that I won’t mention.
“It’s part of the game, they are obviously trying to remove some of that out of it, but some of those decisions need to be challenged.
“Having them discussed at the appropriate time and place … that is what they are trying to do with that rule.
The former Sea Eagles premiership player had some memorable brushes with authority last season and Toovey said he is hopeful he can fly under the radar in that respect in 2014.
“We are all trying hard to ensure we do the right thing by the game but it is frustrating at times,” Toovey said.
“Hopefully some of those frustrations will be alleviated this year, but we will have to wait and see.
“A lot of those rules could be hard to implement but apparently it has been done and dusted so there is not much we can do about it.
“There is a long way to go with the implementation of the new rules but that discussion if for another day
“The referees do a pretty good job.”
Toovey said a decision on the future of prop Richie Fa’aoso, who is facing retirement due to a neck injury will be made soon.
“We are still waiting for advice on that and weighing up the options,” he said.
“At the end of the day we have to do what is right for him.”