Uncontested Scrums on IRB Agenda

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WITH a considerable amount of emphasis being put on the the break in play and intensity that can be lost when specialist props are forced from the field, the situation regarding the uncontested scrum is back up for debate. Most recently, Leinster’s Heineken Cup match against WASPS showed that and the uncontested scrum was a stick that the WASPS management used to beat their drum loud.

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In response, the International Rugby Board has confirmed that the issue of uncontested scrums is already on its agenda for discussion.

Releasing a statement the board stated: “The IRB is aware that there are issues relating to uncontested scrums. The IRB Rugby Committee is meeting in April to discuss possible solutions to address these issues without impacting on the character of the Game,” said IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset.

“The Rugby Committee will consider these proposals along with other important Rugby and Law issues, including the global trial of the Experimental Law Variations (ELVs), at its meeting before putting forward recommendations to the IRB Council at its May meeting.

“Any potential solution to tackle the circumstances that lead to uncontested scrums will have player welfare as its primary concern, while ensuring that the unique shape and character of Rugby is retained. It is also important that potential solutions are applicable across all levels of the Game.

Maintaining that the scrum is an integral part of the fabric of the game, the IRB says that it has been a driving force behind extensive global scrum research. This year the IRB will launch the most comprehensive study of the scrum in the game’s history when it embarks on a three-year analysis of scrum forces.

“The primary goal of this unprecedented study is to determine the best possible techniques for playing, coaching and refereeing what is a critical area of the Game,” added Lapasset.