Jonathan Brown Photo: Getty Images
Jonathan Brown has called on the AFL to significantly restrict interchanges in order to promote more free-flowing football late in games.
The league last year cut rotations to 120 a game per side, only a marginal decrease from the 2013 average of 133.
But the recently retired Lions champion has advocated a considerably more drastic amendment.
“I think the AFL should wind it right back to 60 or 80,” he said on 3AW on Sunday.
“We all think the pace will go off the game… But defensively the pace will go off. The games will really open up.”
Citing the example of rugby league, in which teams are limited to only 12 interchanges per match, Brown said the game would improve as a spectacle if his plans were implemented.
“Rugby league, it’s a real arm wrestle for the first 50 or 60 minutes and in the last 20 minutes it's always really exciting because the big fellas get tired and the gaps open up for the little fellas,” he explained.
“It looks quicker than ever that last 20 minutes.”
"I'm one of the few players who thinks they should wind the rotations right back. The games would really open up."
The issue received prominence at the weekend following Gold Coast's thrilling victory over Collingwood on Saturday. Despite having been limited to just two rotations in the final quarter, the Suns managed to stave off the Magpies and land a crucial win by five points.
Gold Coast midfielder Jaeger O'Meara told 3AW that he experienced cramps in the final quarter, which he indicated was unusual.
“Normally for myself playing in the midfield, I would probably rotate about eight times. I think I only rotated about three times for the whole game," he said.
Teammate Greg Broughton had believed the game was a lost cause for the Suns given their predicament.
“In the end there, I thought they were going to out-run us, but for us to hold on like that, it’s going to be a memorable one," he told the club's official website.
Gold Coast coach Guy McKenna agreed that the win was particularly meritorious given the lack of rotations, and the absence of Gary Ablett who was one of the four Suns' injured during the evening.
"On the back of our skipper (Ablett) being off …. and no rotations late, I don't think it was our best win as far as the way we played, but our most courageous, clearly," McKenna said.