Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson hugs former Hawk and star Swan Lance Franklin after the game on Friday night. Picture: Craig Golding/AAP
Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson hugs former Hawk and star Swan Lance Franklin after the game on Friday night. Picture: Craig Golding/AAP

Longmire wants rule change after injury to Lance Franklin

SYDNEY coach John Longmire is hopeful the AFL will revisit its crackdown on runners following Lance Franklin's hamstring injury, with Hawthorn counterpart Alastair Clarkson also calling for change.

Franklin's hamstring injury in game No.299 will delay the most significant milestone of his decorated career.

It also overshadowed the Swans' 19-point win over the Hawks on Friday night and prompted Longmire to reignite the runner debate, with three of the league's most respected and successful coaches now agitating for change.

Franklin suffered his injury soon after an extended stint on the bench, during which the Swans unsuccessfully tried to bring their four-time Coleman medallist on to the ground.

In previous seasons, Longmire would have sent runner Nick Davis on to the field and effected an interchange.

But the AFL changed its rules for 2019 and runners are only allowed to come on after a goal has been kicked - and must return to the bench before the next centre bounce.

"We were trying to call out from the bench but you can't actually do anything. I don't know whether that contributed or not (to Franklin's injury). No one will ever know," Longmire told reporters.

"You'd like to think we'd be able to get the runner out there occasionally, a bit more than what we are.

"We're not trying to ruin the game.

"As coaches, it's often about rotating players and getting them on and off the ground. Protecting them at times, rather than trying to choke up the game.

"I'd like to think they (AFL) would (review the rule change) but I don't know whether they will."

Clarkson is far more upbeat than his former teammate.

"I'm sure the AFL will look at it," Clarkson said.

"There will be a compromise at some point in time, when the runner will be allowed to deliver some more messages on the ground. I think that will help the game.

"There's not many sides that are scoring prolifically ... it could be helped if coaches could get more messages to players."

Clarkson highlighted how the rule change had prompted more coaches to work from the interchange bench.

"I don't think that is healthy for the game," he said.

"I don't think it is making our game a better game."

Earlier this year, West Coast coach Adam Simpson urged the AFL to soften its rules on runners.

Franklin expects to spend at least a fortnight on the sidelines after injuring his left hamstring for the second time this season, with the club unwilling to speculate on a time frame until the superstar has scans.

He booted four goals at the SCG to help the Swans prevail 12.10 (82) to 9.9 (63).

- AAP

News Corp Australia

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