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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

The first week of the NAB Cup was played in extremely hot weather as it is the height of summer "down under". Even with the roof closed at Etihad Stadium and the air-conditioning on, the temperature on the field soared into the 90's. After the game,

St Kilda Coach Scott Waters and Collingwood assistant Rodney Eade called on the AFL to review and alter the rules for the protection and well-being of the players in high temperatures.

After consulting with medical experts, the clubs, the laws committee, the AFLPA and AFLCA, the AFL did just that. For the next two rounds, clubs will be allowed three interchange players and three substitutes. Initially, clubs were to be allowed three interchange players and one substitute with a cap on bench rotations.

In a statement released by the AFL, it was determined that the expanded bench would have a threefold purpose: to provide more flexibility in managing game time for players across the pre-season period, to maintain interchange numbers at three for as many games as possible to ensure the validity of the interchange cap trial and to allow additional flexibility for any match affected by extreme heat. The AFL will also allow the three substitutes to be declared full interchange players in cases of extreme heat. There would be no limit on rotations.

Source: Patrick Keane, AFL Media Release

Article last changed on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - 2:40 PM EST

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