St George Illawarra star Tyson Frizell has cautioned the NRL to think carefully before choosing to reduce the number of interchanges teams can use per game.
The NRL competition committee will meet next month to decide whether to cut the number of interchanges available and Frizell said player welfare should be the top consideration when making the decision.
A reduction from eight to seven or six would be the second change in four years, with the NRL reducing interchanges from 10 to eight prior to the 2016 season.
Frizell supported that move and said the reduction had made for a more exciting product, however he believes a further reduction would have diminishing returns.
"I don't know what benefits we're going to get," Frizell said. "We break it down to six and then people will say to go down to four.
"It's tough on players, people want to see a better and faster game but player welfare is what you need to look out for. I think eight's perfect, in Tests it's 10, and there's plenty of fatigue out there at the moment."
Central to the final decision will be the discussion surrounding whether a cut will increase the excitement of matches and how that interacts with concerns surrounding player welfare.
Debate remains over the effect of fatigue on injuries, with some arguing fatigue makes the game safer by reducing the impact of collisions, while others claim it makes players more susceptible to injuries.
For Frizell, player welfare should sit at the top of the list of considerations and he hopes players are consulted before a decision is made.
"I hope ex-players and people that have just finished playing have input, it's a lot different to what the game was 10 years ago. If they're looking to make that change, I hope there's players that are there to make the decision.
"Sometimes fans don't see the health and welfare of players, they just see what's exciting and what's going to get the best ratings. I hope those factors get weighed in the decision whether they want to change it.
"It doesn't really factor into me, I can play 80 minutes as an edge player, but I'm not sure what benefits they're going to see out of the suggested changes."
Frizell's comments come as the Dragons forwards ready for a challenging contest against an in-form Newcastle team in Mudgee.
The match will see likely NSW teammates face off with Frizell, Paul Vaughan and Tariq Sims lining up opposite David Klemmer.
For Frizell, such a challenge is exactly what his team needs as they look to bounce back from three-straight losses.
"It's going to be a good game up front, we've done it in the past, being able to get on top of them. But they're a new side, we're a different side at the moment, I'm looking forward to going out there and coming up against those guys.
"Their forwards have really stood up, that's why we've seen Pearce and Ponga controlling the game so well. They're playing nice flat and fast footy and they're getting some good go forward to let their guys play footy.
"They're doing it pretty consistently throughout the game, where probably in the past they've done it through patches. They've been playing pretty good footy, if we're going to play the way we did on the weekend, we're going to get our pants pulled down."
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