AFL rucks to be vital: Adelaide's Jacobs

Crows ruckman Sam Jacobs is excited adapting to new positional changes at the centre-bounce.
Crows ruckman Sam Jacobs is excited adapting to new positional changes at the centre-bounce.

Ruck mastery will be more important than ever under fresh AFL rules, Adelaide's Sam Jacobs says.

Jacobs, one of the league's leading rucks, believes the new rule designating starting zones for players puts a greater emphasis on his craft.

The AFL will introduce rules this season where six players from each team must start in attack, centre and defensive areas.

"All it will do is put more of a premium on centre bounce (ruck contests)," Jacobs told reporters on Tuesday.

"We have had a good look at it over preseason, the coaches have been good and put it in the hands of the players a bit to see what we think.

"There's definitely a lot more space in the midfield ... it's going to be a really good challenge for guys, it'll put a lot more pressure on the ruckmen.

"It's just more of a premium on hit-outs, it's going to be important you get that connection."

Jacobs said the new rule would work to the advantage of explosive midfielders such as Brownlow medallists Patrick Dangerfield from Geelong and Nat Fyfe from Fremantle.

And the 30-year-old Crow believed the greater midfield space would ultimately produce higher scoring as it benefits fast entries into attack.

"There will be a lot more scoring as you'll be able to get deeper entries from centre bounces," he said.

"So it's going to be tough if you lose two or three (centre ruck contests), the pressure is going to mount.

"But I think it's going to be really good for the game."

Australian Associated Press