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IRB to trial new scrum call
ESPN Staff
June 13, 2012
Saracens and Harlequins pack down for a scrum, Harlequins v Saracens, Aviva Premiership, Twickenham, London, England, December 27, 2011
The IRB hopes that the new calls will reduce the number of resets required © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Bernard Lapasset | Graham Rowntree
Teams: England

The International Rugby Board has announced a trial of new scrum calls throughout the game next season.

There has been calls from various quarters to change the call the referee makes prior to the scrum with a high number of resulting resets one argument suggesting that the prolonged process leads to scrums collapsing. The new call - "crouch, touch, set" - will replace the old "crouch, touch, pause, engage" when trialled in both the northern and southern hemisphere next season.

The call has been trialled by the IRB's Scrum Steering Group but any permament decision regarding the scrum will have to wait three years while the group complete their findings. IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset sounded a note of caution ahead of the trial claiming that the "scrum is a complex, dynamic area" and that there "is no quick and easy fix".

With former New Zealand captain Graham Mourie revealing that scrums account for on average 17% of match time with roughly 50% ending up collapsing or in resets, the SSG hopes that the new call will readdress this statistic.

Current England forwards coach Graham Rowntree commented on the decisions saying: "We need to have less collapses and resets and anything that can improve this vital part of our game should be applauded. I will be very interested to see how the trial goes."

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