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Update to Scrum Law Variation

Update to Scrum Law Variation

I.R.F.U. Domestic Committee at its meeting of the 5/9/03 confirmed that the Under 19 Law Variation in relation to the scrum to Under 20 Rugby. Click more for further detail

I.R.F.U. Domestic Committee at its meeting of the 5/9/03 confirmed that the Under 19 Law Variation in relation to the scrum will NOT apply to Under 20 Rugby. This scrum variation still applies to the 3rd Team of A.I.B. League clubs and the 2nd team of Clubs.

Original Article on Scrum Law Variation as published on IrishRugby.ie on 22nd August 2003.

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I.R.FU. Domestic Experimental Law Variation 2003/2004

SCRUM: Adult Club Rugby

The U/19 Scrum Law Variations will apply to the following levels of Adult Club Rugby:

All Ireland League Clubs 3rd team level & below

Qualifying League Clubs 2nd team level & below

All Club teams below Qualifying League level

U/20 Teams


To make scrummaging more stable and safer. To maintain main principles of scrummaging.
To encourage continuity of play.


Front rows coming together. Each prop must touch the opponent’s upper arm and then pause
before the front rows meet. The sequence should be: Crouch, touch, pause, engage.
No wheeling. A team must not intentionally wheel a scrum. Penalty: Penalty Kick
No Turnover. If a wheel reaches 45 degrees, the referee must stop play. If the wheel is unintentional,
the referee orders another scrum at the place where the scrum is stopped. The same team throw the ball in.
Maximum 1.5 metres push. A team in a scrum must not push the scrum more than 1.5 metres
towards their opponents’ goal-line. Penalty: Free Kick
Ball must be released from the scrum. A player must not intentionally keep the ball in the scrum
once the player’s team has heeled the ball and controls it at the base of the scrum. (The No. 8 is the
only forward allowed to pick up the ball in the scrum) Penalty: Free Kick


In an 8 person scrum the formation must be 3-4-1, with the single player (Normally the number 8)
shoving on the 2 locks. The locks must pack with their heads on either side of the hooker.

Exception: A team must have fewer than eight players in its scrum when either the team cannot field
a complete team, or a player is sent off for Foul Play, or a player leaves the field because of injury.

Even allowing for this exception, each team must always have at least five players in a scrum.

If a team is incomplete, the scrum formation must be as follows:

If a team is without one player, then both teams must use a 3-4 formation (i.e. no No.8).

If a team is without two players, then both teams must use a 3-2-1 formation (i.e. no flankers).

If a team is without three players, then both teams must use a 3-2 formation (i.e. only front rows and locks).

When a normal scrum takes place, the players in the three front row positions and the two lock positions must have been suitably trained for these positions.
If a team cannot field such suitably trained players because: either they are not available, or a player in one of those five positions is injured or has
been sent off for Foul Play and no suitably trained replacement is available, then the referee must order uncontested scrums.

In an uncontested scrum, the teams do not compete for the ball. The team putting in the ball must win it. Neither team is allowed to push the
other team away from the mark.


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