IRB changes scrum laws, again!

2014-01-09 12:59
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Six Nations: Scrum rule to change yet again in time for tournament – Rugby Union – Rugby – The Independent

January 8, 2014 in re-blogs, rugby

Remarkably, senior Six Nations figures said on Monday that they were unaware of the development.

The change concerns the put-in. At present, the referee tells the scrum-half to feed the ball when he is satisfied that the front rows are properly bound and the packs are square and stable. This loads the dice against the team in possession, whose hooker has to raise a foot to strike the ball against the opposition’s eight-man shove. The International Rugby Board experts believe this to be too great a disadvantage and have come up with a system under which a “silent signal” – a tap on the back or a nod, to be agreed before the match – replaces the “yes nine” call.

While this makes perfect sense and will undoubtedly make the scrum contest fairer, the timing of the move is unlikely to be welcomed by coaches who have spent recent months adapting to the initial changes brought in at the start of the campaign. According to IRB sources, there has been “full consultation at a national level”. Even so, it is an interesting moment to start tinkering.

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