31 Jul 2008

Scrum change for domestic rugby competition

11:37 am on 31 July 2008

The national provincial rugby competition kicks off tonight when Northland host Waikato and Bay Of Plenty visit Tasman and there's been a late change to the scrum engagement rule.

It's a return to the old three-step call, but with "crouch, touch, engage" the command now.

Since it was introduced in January last year, the "crouch, touch, pause, engage" sequence has applied.

But the International Rugby Board gave the NZRU its blessing to try out the variation after research showed no marked decrease in the number of collapsed scrums and resets, since the four-step engagement was introduced in 2006.

The NZRU will report to the IRB on the trial at the conclusion of the competition. The three-step scrum engagement sequence will be trialled in addition to the 16 experimental law variations (ELVs).

All Blacks loose forward Sione Lauaki has been named on the Waikato reserve bench.