West Coast appear likely to host a Monday night game on WA Day next June and grand finalists Sydney and Hawthorn will play twice in 2013.

The AFL wasn't willing to declare which WA club would have the honour of playing on WA Day, but it is expected to be an Eagles home game and the teams who play would have a bye the following week.

The Monday public holiday has traditionally been a bumper WAFL fixture with South Fremantle and East Fremantle facing off and East Perth tackling West Perth at the same time.

Both games will have finished when the AFL match starts.

Sydney will meet Hawthorn at the MCG in round seven and at ANZ Stadium in round 23.

The 10 teams who missed the finals in 2012 will get a leg up, having no more than two return meetings against top-eight sides, while this year's finalists will mostly play each other twice.

Fremantle and West Coast start their seasons with a round-one western derby on March 23.

Meanwhile, the AFL yesterday announced several rule changes but decided against placing a cap on interchanges.

AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou said it had been agreed in principle to introduce an interchange rotation cap, but he wanted to try a new law during the NAB Cup and then make a decision at the end of next season. There had been speculation that the league would cap rotations at 80 per match.

Collingwood president Eddie McGuire suggested a cap could force players to take performance-enhancing drugs.

Three changes have been made to the laws for next season.

Players will now be penalised for making forceful contact below the knees of an opponent unless smothering the ball.

Umpires will throw the ball up at stoppages around the ground, but will continue bouncing the ball in the centre circle.

And ruckmen will no longer be allowed to make contact before the umpire has released the ball after a stoppage in a bid to remove unsightly wrestling and increase the chances of the ball being cleared.

The West Australian

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