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Important changes to JRL coming in 2024

Updated: Feb 13

In 2024, the Cronulla JRL will be adopting the NRL's new Player Development Framework (PDF). The implementation of this new PDF will see a number of new changes introduced in 2024 designed to have a positive impact on our young and developing rugby league participants.


As the world of sports evolves, so too must the systems in place to nurture and develop young talent. In a bid to enhance the Junior Rugby League experience and ensure the holistic development of budding athletes, the NRL (National Rugby League) has announced groundbreaking changes to its player development framework set to roll out in 2024.


These changes signify a significant shift in approach, aiming to prioritize skill acquisition, safety, and enjoyment for young players.


What is the Player Development Framework?


The NRL's Player Development Framework is a comprehensive set of guidelines and initiatives designed to support the growth and progression of junior rugby league players. It outlines the structure of competitions, rules, and programs aimed at fostering the development of fundamental skills, promoting safety, and instilling a love for the game from an early age.


Aims of the Player Development Framework:


  1. Enhance Skill Development: The framework seeks to provide young players with the opportunity to develop fundamental skills crucial for their progression in the sport, laying a strong foundation for future success.

  2. Prioritize Safety: Safety is paramount, especially in contact sports like rugby league. The framework aims to implement measures that ensure the safety of young players, promoting proper technique and gradually introducing contact elements.

  3. Foster Enjoyment and Participation: By creating a positive and supportive environment, the framework aims to foster a lifelong love for rugby league, encouraging continued participation and engagement in the sport.

Key Reforms for 2024:


  1. Development Competitions Only from Ages 6 to 10 The NRL has decided to focus exclusively on development competitions for players aged 6 to 10. This shift allows for a greater emphasis on skill acquisition and player progression during these formative years. By removing the pressure of intense competition at a young age, players can focus on honing their skills and enjoying the game without the added stress of winning at all costs.

  2. No Tackle for Under 6s In a move aimed at prioritizing safety and skill development, players under the age of 6 will not engage in tackling during matches. Instead, they will focus on developing fundamental skills such as running, passing, and evasive manoeuvres. This decision recognizes the physical limitations of very young players and aims to mitigate the risk of injury by gradually introducing contact elements as players mature.

  3. Tackle Ready Program for Under 7s For players aged 7, the NRL has introduced the Tackle Ready Program, a structured approach to transitioning into tackling. In the first half of the season, players will participate in tag rugby league, focusing on developing their understanding of the game and refining their skills in a non-contact environment. In the second half of the season, players will progress to tackle rugby league, having gained the necessary skills and confidence to safely engage in contact.



The introduction of the new Player Development Framework by the NRL represents a significant step forward in the evolution of junior rugby league. By prioritising skill development, safety, and enjoyment, these reforms aim to create a nurturing environment where young athletes can thrive and grow both on and off the field. As we look ahead to the implementation of these changes in 2024, it's clear that the future of junior rugby league is brighter than ever before.


WANT TO KNOW MORE? Click Here to visit the NRL website.






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