Scrum feeds tweaked in new World Rugby changes

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

World Rugby has added a handful of new law changes ahead of the 2018 Northern Hemisphere season.

This time around the laws are focused on scrums and the ruck.

One of those is front rowers must hook the ball when the ball is fed, with any front rower able to use either foot to try and win possession of the ball.

No. 8s will now also be able to pick the ball up from second rowers’ feet in a bid to keep scrums moving quicker.

Feeding scrumhalves will also be able to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with their side of the scrum, putting them in a more advantageous position, though they will still need to feed the ball straight.

The referee will also not signal the scrumhalf to feed the ball.

Elsewhere, a ruck now begins when at least one player is on their feet and over the ball.

Players on their feet and pick up the ball, as long as that’s immediate.

The tackler must now get up and re-enter through the ‘gate’ before being able to play the ball.

Players also won’t be able to kick the ball through the ruck, rather needing to hook it backwards.

The laws were trialled in June’s World U20s Championship and resulted in fewer scrum penalties and collapses.

These changes are on top of laws introduced earlier this year, that included allowing players to kick to the corner and take their lineout after time has been blown.