The NSWRL will introduce new concussion protocols into all its competitions this season, including an 18th man concussion substitution and a mandatory stand-down period of 14 days, in the interests of player welfare and safety.
NSWRL general manager of football Barrie-Jon Mather said the decision was made after a comprehensive review of concussion procedures.
"We are just trying to increase the level of care and err on the side of caution when it comes to head knocks and concussions," Mather said. "[Taking advice from experts and studies] the NSWRL is doing what they can in the interests of player welfare and safety.
"The changes this year will include the introduction of an 18th man concussion substitution, which will allow clubs to carry an additional player on the bench who may be substituted into a game only if another player is ruled out from concussion."