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Despite new season on the horizon, Super Rugby teams still reading up on 2021 rules

Believe it or not, the rugby season officially starts tomorrow night in Dunedin with the Highlanders hosting the Crusaders in the second edition of Super Rugby Aotearoa.

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The captain’s challenge and dangerous play around the head have left many a little confused. Source: 1 NEWS

A blight on the game, offsides, will be clamped down on and dangerous play near the head will also be dealt with this season. However, it's the new captain's referral system which is causing some head scratching.

The Blues were applying the finishing touches to their preparation for the new season today before facing the Hurricanes on Saturday, and part of that included brushing up on the new referral system.

Captain Patrick Tuipulotu admitted to 1 NEWS he’s still a bit unclear with it.

“If we do the job properly, hopefully we don't [need it],” he joked.

Clarity around the new system wasn’t helped last weekend when Crusader Codie Taylor called for a referral in a pre-season game only for officials to incorrectly deny it.

The rules state after a try a captain can ask, within 10 seconds, for the ref to check from the previous restart or check for foul play. In the last five minutes of the game, they can ask for a check on anything.

The other game-changer will be the goal-line dropout. However, fans should also look out for anything near the head to be dealt with severely too.

“It's more than just high tackles,” NZR referees manager Bryce Lawrence said.

“It's dangerous clean outs and guys carrying the ball putting their elbow up.”

There's plenty to brush up on before tomorrow night’s kickoff.