Scrum plans put on hold

Plans to implement new regulations surrounding uncontested scrums in this season's Guinness Premiership have been put on hold. [more]

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Plans to implement new regulations surrounding uncontested scrums in this season’s Guinness Premiership have been put on hold.

The Rugby Football Union and Premier Rugby had agreed changes ahead of the new campaign, which kicks off on Saturday.

These included adopting a scheme successfully piloted in last season’s French Championship, whereby a team responsible for uncontested scrums being called by the referee loses a player.

Uncontested scrums currently happen during a game when one side cannot field a front-row of two specialist props and specialist hooker.

The RFU-Premier Rugby initiative, though, will not be adopted this term after advice that such a change requires an International Rugby Board sanction.

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The proposal is designed to close a loophole in the laws, which can see a struggling team wipe out their opponent’s advantage in the scrummage with conveniently-timed injuries.

"This is a good and positive regulation change and we support the Guinness Premiership clubs in their desire to see this happen," said Paul Murphy, chairman of the RFU governance committee.

"Even though we believe this is a regulation rather than a law change, and therefore subject only to RFU ratification, the IRB have now strongly advised us not to adopt this until they have formally approved it.

"As the sport’s world governing body, we respect the IRB’s position and therefore the regulations relating to uncontested scrums will remain unchanged for the coming season."

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