WESTERN Bulldogs ruckman Will Minson has called for the AFL to consult players more before implementing trial rules in the NAB Cup.

Several rules will be trialled during the pre-season competition, but Minson is frustrated that players have little say in the decision-making process.

Minson's frustration is heightened by the fact that one such trial rule prevents him from rucking in his natural style.

Under NAB Cup rules, players contesting ruck duels will be penalised if they make contact with their opponent before the ball leaves the umpire’s hand.

The theory is that this will encourage ruckmen to contest the ball rather than focus on nullifying their opponent. It is also expected to make it easier for umpires to adjudicate ruck contests.

Minson is one of the old breed of big men who try to get around their lack of spring by grappling for position, generally before the ball has been bounced.

At a press conference at Whitten Oval on the eve of the Bulldogs' NAB Cup openers against Collingwood and Essendon, Minson made his point while doing his best to be diplomatic.

"The AFL tries to take a whole range of stakeholders in mind when they’re thinking of rule changes," he said.

"Generally speaking, it would be nice if there weren't so many rule changes, but the NAB Cup is there to experiment with rules. They've done that in the past.

"The players' association will be meeting with the AFL next week to discuss some other rule changes. Ultimately, we'd like to be engaged in the conversation and form part of any decision-making."

Asked whether the rule had inconvenienced his preparation for the premiership season, Minson said, "You just work within the parameters you’re given.

"It provides an opportunity for a different part of your game or a different technique or a different set of skill sets. You've got to be able to adapt."

Earlier, AFL umpires director Jeff Gieschen admitted there had been some resistance to the rule change when it was trialled in last year's NAB Cup. But he said the feedback since had been "pretty positive".

Gieschen emphasised that ruckmen could still make body contact, as long as their eyes were on the ball and it was legal contact.

"When we've gone around the clubs, there's been a little bit of discussion and debate around it, but it was trialled last year really successfully," he said. "All the feedback was pretty positive …

"It's a body-contact sport – there's nothing to say ruckmen can't make body contact.

"What we're going to find is because they're separated, their first instinct will be to get to where the ball is rather than where their opponent is.

"We'll probably still see ruckmen go and make a beeline to their opponent, but provided their eyes are on the ball and providing they do it in a legal and clean fashion, that is fine."

Gieschen said the rule aimed to promote "original ruck work" rather than wrestling. He also said it could help to speed up the game and make it more continuous.

"It is a bit of an ugly part of our game, the wrestling, the locking on, no one quite sure who instigated that," he said. "It's to separate the ruckmen to make that cleaner.

"Through that, we're going to see probably better clearances through players actually going for the ball and tapping the ball to teammates rather than locking on and trying to neutralise to an extent …

"I guess the whole gist of this one is we want the ruckmen to play the ball and not the man."

Will Minson is a ruckman in NAB AFL Fantasy. He averaged 86.43 points in 2012. Register your team at our AFL Fantasy Hub.