Scrum (rugby)

A scrum (short for scrummage) is a method of restarting play in rugby that involves players packing closely together with their heads down and attempting to gain possession of the ball.[1] Depending on whether it is in rugby union or rugby league, the scrum is utilized either after an accidental infringement or when the ball has gone out of play. Scrums occur more often, and are now of greater importance, in union than in league.[2] Starting play from the line of scrimmage in gridiron football is derived from the scrum.

In both sports, a scrum is formed by the players who are designated forwards binding together in three rows. The scrum then 'engages' with the opposition team so that the players' heads are interlocked with those of the other side's front row. In rugby union the initiation of the process is verbally coordinated by the referee who calls 'crouch, bind, set' as of 2013 (formerly 'crouch, touch, pause, engage', 'crouch and hold, engage' before 2007). The scrum-half from the team that did not infringe then throws the ball into the tunnel created in the space between the two sets of front rowers' legs. Both teams may then try to compete for the ball by trying to hook the ball backwards with their feet.

A key difference between the two sports is that in rugby union both sets of forwards try to push the opposition backwards whilst competing for the ball and thus the team that did not throw the ball into the scrum have some minimal chance of winning the possession. In practice, however, the team with the 'put-in' usually keeps possession (92% of the time with the feed) and put-ins are not straight. Forwards in rugby league do not usually push in the scrum, scrum-halves often feed the ball directly under the legs of their own front row rather than into the tunnel, and the team with the put-in usually retains possession (thereby making the 40/20 rule workable).

ST vs Gloucester - Match - 23
Luke Burgess (rightmost player in black) introduces the ball into the scrum.

Rugby union

The relative body positions of the players in a rugby union scrum

A rugby union scrum consists of two teams' eight forwards, with each team binding in three rows. The front row is composed of the two props and the hooker.[3] The two second row forwards (jersey numbers four and five), commonly referred to as the locks bind together and directly behind the front row with each putting their heads between the props and the hooker. Lastly the back row is made up of the two flankers and the number eight. The flankers bind on each side of the scrum — next to a lock and behind a prop.[3]

The two forward packs form a scrum by approaching to within an arms length of each other. The referee gives the command crouch and the opposing front rows then crouch. Then the referee calls touch and props touch the opposites outside shoulder. The referee then issues the set command which indicates that the two packs may come together. When this happens both front rows thrust forward with the tighthead props' heads going between the opposing hooker and loosehead prop. The props then bind by gripping the back or side of the opposing prop's jersey. The scrum-half from the team that has possession then throws the ball in the gap formed between the two front rows.[4] The two hookers (and sometimes the props) then compete for possession by trying to hook the ball backwards with their feet, while the entire pack tries to push the opposing pack backwards. The side that wins possession usually transfers the ball to the back of the scrum — which is done with their feet. Once at the back it is picked up either by the number 8, or by the scrum-half.[5]

Starting with the 2012/2013 rugby season the International Rugby Board has issued trial law amendments, one of which affects the call sequence. The referee will continue to start with "crouch" and "touch", but will now issue the command "set", which replaces "engage" as the indication that the packs may push forward. "Pause" has been removed in order to speed up the scrum and to minimize resets due to collapsed scrums.[6] The command to "touch" was not used before 2007. Instead, the referee called "crouch and hold", at which time each pack crouched and held that position before the referee gave the command to "engage". Starting in 2013/2014 "touch" has been replaced with "bind".

There are a large number of rules regarding the specifics of what can and cannot be done during a scrum. Front rowers must engage square on, rather than bore in on an angle.[7] Front-rowers are also banned from twisting their bodies, pulling opponents, or doing anything that might collapse the scrum.[8] The back row must remain bound until the ball has left the scrum. For flankers, this means keeping one arm, up to the shoulder, in contact with the scrum. The scrum must be stable, stationary and parallel to the goal-lines when they feed the ball; otherwise a free kick is awarded to the non-offending team. By strict letter of the law, the ball must be fed into the middle of the tunnel with its major axis parallel to the ground and touchline; however this is becoming less strictly enforced as the photo in this article illustrates. The ball must be thrown in quickly and in a single movement — this means that a feed cannot be faked. Once the ball has left the hands of the scrum-half the scrum has begun.

Rugby sevens

Sevens scrum
Scrum in sevens

Scrums in rugby union sevens consist only of what would be the "front row" in normal rugby union. They consist of three forwards on each side, plus a scrum half to feed in the ball.

Rugby league

Rugby league scrum finale elite rugby XIII 2010 FCL PIA
A rugby league scrum

A rugby league scrum is used to bring the ball back into play in situations where the ball has gone out of play over the touchline or a player has made a mistake, a knock-on or forward pass, except when that mistake has occurred on the last tackle of a set of six tackles. A scrum is also used in the rare event that the ball bursts or the referee interferes with the movement of the ball.

The scrum consists of six players from each team in a 3–2–1 formation. The scrum is usually formed by each team's forwards, though any player can participate. The front row of the formation consists of the open-side prop (8), hooker (9) and blind-side prop (10). Behind the front row are the two second row forwards (11&12), and then the loose forward (13) at the back.

The two "packs" of forwards form a scrum before the ball is put into the scrum. The scrum-half (7) (also known as the halfback) of the team that did not commit the forward pass, knock-on or cause the ball to go out of play over the touch line puts the ball into the scrum through the tunnel formed by the front rows of each set of forwards meeting. When the ball bursts or the referee interferes with the ball, the team that had possession at the time is the one to put the ball into the scrum. Both teams may attempt to secure the ball while it is in the scrum by "hooking" for it or by pushing their opponents off the ball. The ball can be brought back into open play by the scrum-half retrieving it from the rear of the scrum or by the loose forward picking it up after detaching from the scrum.[9]

While restarting play, the scrum serves to keep the forwards in one area of the field for a time, thus creating more space for back play and special plays, an advantage to the side that wins the scrum. It is now uncommon for the team not awarded the scrum feed to win possession "against the feed". Prior to 1983, the loose forward would often stand outside of the scrum, leaving a five-man scrum. In an effort to provide more space for backline play, scrum rules were changed so that in normal circumstances loose forwards must always bind into the scrum. However, if a player is sent off, five-man scrums may occur. In this situation, the rules mandate the numbers of players not bound into the scrum.[9]

While the Laws of the Game continue to provide for competitive scrums,[9][10] a convention exists that some scrum rules are not enforced. During the 1970s, scrum penalties for feeding the ball into the legs of the second row, packs moving off the "mark" or collapsing the scrum were seen as unattractive. The ability of teams to win a game purely on goals from scrum penalties was also seen as unfair. In an effort to improve this situation, changes to rules and their enforcement were made. The number of scrums was reduced with the introduction of the "handover" after a team has used a set of six tackles,[9] the differential penalty, one which cannot be kicked at goal was brought in for offences at scrums and referees ceased enforcing some rules regarding feeding the ball into scrum. Aided by this change, it is common for professional teams not to fully contest scrums, according to their choice of tactics.

See also


  1. ^ Scrum, abbreviated form of scrummage, Oxford English Dictionary Online Archived 2008-01-11 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ Nick Mulvenney and Peter Rutherford (4 April 2011). "Rugby-Cat calls greet scrummaging's return to league". Archived from the original on 16 March 2013. Retrieved 24 June 2012.
  3. ^ a b "Forming a scrum". 2005-09-14. Archived from the original on 2007-07-03. Retrieved 2007-07-19.
  4. ^ "Feeding the scrum". 2005-09-14. Archived from the original on 2007-05-19. Retrieved 2007-07-23.
  5. ^ "Hooking the ball". 2005-09-14. Archived from the original on 2007-06-29. Retrieved 2007-07-23.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-07-07. Retrieved 2012-10-07.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "The laws of scrummaging". 2005-09-14. Archived from the original on 2007-08-25. Retrieved 2007-07-23.
  8. ^ "Law 20 - Scrum". 2007-01-22. Archived from the original on 2008-01-12. Retrieved 2007-10-15.
  9. ^ a b c d Australian Rugby League Rule Book, February 2008
  10. ^ "ARL International Laws of the Game" (PDF). New South Wales Rugby League 3 April 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 November 2008. Retrieved 2009-07-26.

External links

2001–02 World Sevens Series

The 2001-02 IRB Sevens World Series was the third edition of the IRB Sevens World Series tournament. The Series consisted of 11 tournaments. New Zealand won the Series for a third consecutive year. New Zealand won seven of the eleven tournaments; no other country won more than one, with England and South Africa winning their first ever tournaments.

2004 June rugby union tests

The 2004 mid-year rugby union tests (also known as the Summer Internationals in the Northern Hemisphere) refer to international rugby union matches that are played through June, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere.

Four test series took place in the window with Argentina hosting Wales, Australia hosting Scotland, New Zealand hosting England and South Africa hosting Ireland.

The Pacific Islanders played matches against Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, losing all three matches.

Canada national rugby union team

The Canada national rugby union team (French: Équipe du Canada de rugby à XV) is governed by Rugby Canada, and play in red and white. Canada is classified by World Rugby as a tier two rugby nation. There are ten tier one nations, and thirteen tier two nations. Canada competes in competitions such as the Americas Rugby Championship and the Rugby World Cup.

Canada has been playing international rugby since their 1932 debut against Japan. Canada have competed at every World Cup since the tournament was first staged in 1987, the only North American team to do so. Canada achieved their best result at the World Cup in 1991, where they reached the quarterfinals. Canada was once the dominant power of North American rugby and currently ranks fourth in the Americas after Argentina, the US and Uruguay. The team has achieved victories over traditionally stronger Six Nations teams such as France, Wales, Italy, and Scotland on at least one occasion in past years. Canada is currently ranked 20th in the World Rugby Rankings.

Cecil Abercrombie

Lieutenant Cecil Halliday Abercrombie (12 April 1886 – 31 May 1916) was a rugby player, who represented Scotland and United Services RFC. He was also a first-class cricketer, playing for Hampshire.

Born in Mozufferpore, Indian Empire, Abercrombie was the son of an Indian Police officer. He attended Berkhamsted School and then underwent naval officer training in Dartmouth. Passing out in 1902, he went aboard HMS Hyacinth, joining the British campaign in Somaliland, and was part of the force that captured "Mullah" Hassan's stronghold at Illig in 1904.

He won six caps for Scotland at rugby between 1910 and 1913, scoring a try in the match against France in 1911, which was nevertheless the first victory for the French over any of the Home Nations teams. In cricket, he played 16 matches for Hampshire, scoring 4 centuries, with a high score of 165 runs.

In the First World War, he was aboard HMS Defence at the Battle of Jutland on 31 May 1916. The ship was struck by German fire, exploded and sank with the loss of all men, including Abercrombie. He is remembered with honour on the Plymouth Naval Memorial.

Daniel Leo

Daniel Leo (born 2 October 1982) is a Samoan rugby union player.


ESPN is a Spanish language sports website launched by ESPN in 2000. Currently, it has regional editions for the Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, United States and Venezuela. The website features news, analysis and results of several sports, including association football, American football, baseball, basketball, boxing, motorsport, tennis, rugby union, golf and polo, as well as the Olympic Games and X Games. Some sections are branded, such as ESPN FC (association football) and ESPN Scrum (rugby).

Several journalists from ESPN Deportes and ESPN Latin America also appear on ESPN, including Raúl Allegre, John Sutcliffe, Ciro Procuna, Francisco Alemán, Tito Puccetti, Enrique Sacco and Martín Urruty.

According to Alexa, ESPN is ranked as the 47th most visited website in Mexico, 87th in Venezuela, 130th in Colombia, and 194th in Argentina. Also according to Alexa, 6.1% of the traffic goes to ESPN, and is the 65th most visited Spanish language website.A SDP Noticias journalist ranked ESPN as the best Spanish-language sports website, beating Fox Sports, Marca and As.

Japan national rugby union team

The Japan national rugby union team (often known as the Cherry Blossoms and more recently The Brave Blossoms), is traditionally the strongest rugby union power in Asia and has enjoyed and endured mixed results against non-Asian teams over the years. Rugby union in Japan is administered by the Japan Rugby Football Union (JRFU), which was founded in 1926. They compete annually in the Pacific Nations Cup and the Asia Rugby Championship. They have also participated in every Rugby World Cup since the tournament began in 1987.

Rugby was first played in Japan's treaty ports as early as 1866. Popular participation by local university teams was established in 1899 and Japan's first recorded international was a match against a Canadian team in 1932. Notable games for Japan include a victory over the Junior All Blacks in 1968, and a narrow 6–3 loss to England in 1971. Famous wins by Japan include a 28–24 victory over a Scotland XV in 1989 and a 23–8 victory over Wales in 2013. In the 2007 Rugby World Cup, Japan drew 12–12 against Canada. In 2011, Japan displayed its progress by winning the 2011 IRB Pacific Nations Cup, played against Fiji, Samoa and Tonga. Further progress was displayed in 2014 when Japan completed a string of ten consecutive test wins (a record for a tier 2 team) to rank in the world's top 10 teams. This continued into 2015 where they produced arguably the biggest upset in rugby history in a Rugby World Cup pool match against the Springboks, winning 34–32.

Levan Chilachava

Levan Chilachava (Georgian: ლევან ჩილაჩავა) (born 17 August 1991 in Sokhumi, Georgia) is a Georgian rugby union player. He plays prop for Georgia on international level. Chilachava also plays for French club, Toulon in the Top 14 competition.On the 11 February 2012 Chilachava made his debut for Georgia against Spain in the European Nations Cup. He then was named in Georgia's 2012 end of year tour squad.

List of France national rugby union team records

France's national rugby union team is the nation's representative side. The team has played Test match rugby since 1906, when they played New Zealand national rugby union team in Paris. The record for most Test match appearances, or caps, is held by Fabien Pelous with 118. Serge Blanco played for France between 1980 and 1991, and has scored 38 Test tries for France – more than any other player. The record for most Test points is held by Frédéric Michalak, who has scored 422 points for France in his 74 Test matches to date.

List of New Zealand national rugby union team player records

The New Zealand national rugby union team have competed since 1884, and there are a number of individual records achieved since that time. The team is also known as the All Blacks, and have competed in Test rugby since their match against Australia in 1903. The world record for Test appearances is held by Richie McCaw—who played 148 Test matches for the team between 2001 and 2015. McCaw was also the first All Black to play over 100 Test matches; a record he achieved during the 2011 Rugby World Cup. The record for most Test points by an All Black is held by Dan Carter, who scored 1598 points between 2003 and 2015. The record for the number of Test tries is held by Doug Howlett, who scored 49 tries in 62 matches between 2000 and 2007.

Pierre Guillemin

Pierre Guillemin (13 September 1887 – 18 August 1915) was a French rugby union player, who represented France, Paris and Racing Club de France (RCF).

He was first selected to play for France in the Home Nations Championship of 1908, playing in the games against England and Wales. The following year, he played against England and Ireland, and in 1910, in all four Home Nations games. That year, he scored his only points for France, a try, against England in a close-fought match, after which he gained a reputation for being amongst the best of the French forwards.

Guillemin's final season playing for France was that of 1910–11. The French press disapproved of his selection, noting that he was excessively violent and not very effective. In 1911, France won its first ever official international match, beating Scotland 16–15 at home, but in the following game, away against England, the French were heavily beaten. Guillemin's last match for France was against Wales; he was dropped for the final game of the championship, against Ireland. He played on with RCF for one more season, playing in the team that was runner-up in the Championnat de France.

An architect by profession, he became a lieutenant in the French infantry, and died on the front in the First World War after a reconnaissance mission in Bois le Prêtre in Belleville-sur-Meuse.

Ray Barkwill

Raymond "Ray" Barkwill (born 26 August 1980) is a Canadian rugby union player who currently plays for the Seattle Seawolves of Major League Rugby and the Canada national rugby union team.Born in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Barkwill began playing his rugby at Westlane Secondary School along with Niagara Wasp RFC,it was here that he and teammates learned the invaluable "Tooq Bomb". After which he went on to play for the Niagara Thunder while being educated at Brock University in St. Catharines. In 2007 he captained Brock University team to its first OUA Rugby Championship while being named OUA Finals MVP. Barkwill graduated from Brock University with a BSc. in Physical Geography. After this, he continued his post graduate studies at Curtin University in Perth, Australia. He then joined the University of Western Australia's Rugby Club in June and was then selected to the Western Australians Perth Spirit at the end of September of that season for their tour to Adelaide, South Australia.

Romania national rugby union team

The Romania national rugby union team (Romanian: Echipa națională de rugby a României), nicknamed The Oaks (Stejarii), is long considered one of the stronger European teams outside the Six Nations. They have participated in all but one Rugby World Cup and currently compete in the first division of the European Nations Cup, which they won most recently in 2017. Rugby union in Romania is administered by the Romanian Rugby Federation. The team plays in yellow and blue strips.

France first played rugby against Romania in 1924 when they tried to establish a rival to the Five Nations championship. Although not regarded as a first-tier team in more recent times, their history includes wins against four (France, Italy, Scotland, Wales) of the Six Nations Championship teams.Romania have played in every Rugby World Cup as of 2015, with their best result being a win during the pool stages. However, the likes of Georgia have challenged Romania for top spot below the Six Nations in the European Nations Cup (or Six Nations B).

Samoa national rugby union team

The Samoa national rugby union team (also known as Manu Samoa) is governed by the Samoa Rugby Union. The name Manu Samoa is in honour of a famous Samoan warrior. They perform a traditional Samoan challenge called the siva tau before each game. Samoa Rugby Union were formerly members of the Pacific Islands Rugby Alliance (PIRA) along with Fiji and Tonga. They are ranked 16th in the world.Rugby was introduced to Samoa in the early 1920s and a governing body was soon formed. The first international was played as Western Samoa against Fiji in August 1924. Along with Tonga, these nations would meet regularly and eventually contest competitions such as the Pacific Tri-Nations – with Western Samoa winning the first of these. From 1924 to 1997 Samoa was known as Western Samoa.

Samoa have been to every Rugby World Cup since the 1991 tournament. That tournament, along with the 1995 competition, saw them make the quarter-finals. Under their new coach, former New Zealand and Samoan international player Michael Jones, Samoa competed in the 2007 Rugby World Cup. However, Samoa had a dismal World Cup campaign, winning only one match and finishing fourth in their group. Samoa showed an improved performance at the 2011 Rugby World Cup, winning two matches by comfortable margins, and losing close matches to South Africa and Wales.


Scrum may refer to:

Scrum (rugby), a method of restarting play in rugby union and rugby league

Scrum (rugby union), scrum in rugby union

Media scrum, an impromptu press conference, often held immediately outside an event such as a legislative session or meeting

Scrum (software development), a variant of the agile methodology used for software development

Autozam Scrum, a microvan and pickup truck sold in Japan by Mazda

"Scrum", a song on the album Diabolus in Musica by Slayer

Scrum (rugby union)

In rugby union a scrum is a means of restarting play after a minor infringement. It involves up to eight players from each team, known as the pack or forward pack, binding together in three rows and interlocking with the free opposing teams forwards. At this point the ball is fed into the gap between the two forward packs and they both compete for the ball to win possession. Teams can be penalised for intentionally causing the scrum to collapse, and for not putting the ball into the scrum correctly. A scrum is most commonly awarded when the ball is knocked forward, or passed forward, or when a ball becomes trapped in a ruck or maul. Because of the physical nature of scrums, injuries can occur, especially in the front row.

Sinoti Sinoti

Sinoti Sinoti (born 9 September 1985) is a New Zealand Rugby Union footballer. He currently plays for Newcastle Falcons in the Aviva Premiership and for the Samoa national rugby union team.

Zurab Zhvania (rugby union)

Zurab Zhvania (born 23 September 1991 in Georgia) is a Georgian rugby union player. He plays prop or hooker for Georgia on international level.On the 9 March 2013 Zhvania made his debut for Georgia against Spain in the European Nations Cup.

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