The Six Nations have confirmed that a new scrum law will be trialled in this year’s championships, which aims to improve scrum stability.
The new law will be trialled in all three Six Nations Championships set to be played in the coming months; the men’s tournament, the women’s tournament and the U20s tournament.
Hookers will now be required to ensure that one foot, known as a “brake foot” is extended towards the opposition during the crouch and bind phases of the engagement sequence. If not, a free kick will be awarded to the other team.
It is hoped that the “brake foot” will lessen the amount of scrum collapses, which will reduce the number of resets and reduce the likelihood of injuries for front row players at scrum time.
World Rugby chief executive Alan Gilpin on the law change.
The Six Nations is working alongside World Rugby in regards to the law change, with both bodies hopeful that aiding hooker stability will have a positive effect.
“We want rugby to be the best it can be for those playing and watching the game and this trial will enable us to understand whether we can positively impact both game and welfare outcomes during the three Six Nations Championships,” World Rugby chief executive Alan Gilpin said.
“This builds on voluntary adoption by teams and greater vigilance by match officials in recent elite competitions and we would like to thank Six Nations Rugby and all the participating teams for embracing the trial and we look forward to seeing the results.”
— Guinness Six Nations (@SixNationsRugby) January 27, 2022
The change aims to speed the game up.
Although the scrum is an integral part of the game, it has long been criticised for significantly slowing down play, as there can be several resets for each scrum, which at its worst, can result in matches being effectively halted for several minutes.
While the “brake foot” won’t prevent scrum collapses in their entirety, it should improve stability and may also decrease the amount of force involved at the engagement.
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