The instructions to set the scrum will now change to “crouch, bind, slide”. The way that the props bind into each other following the “crouch” will come with particular requirements, and the referee will only recognise a set bind position if there is no connection below the middle area of the ribs or onto another armpit. Once the referee is satisfied and the props are lined up ear-to-ear (and not head-to-head), the scrum-half will be given the go-ahead to feed the ball. “Slide” will then be called to indicate that front contact can now be made.
If a maul stops moving forward or moves in any direction other than forward, the referee will intervene and require that it starts moving forward again. The attacking team will then be given five seconds to get it moving again. If it cannot move, the referee will count aloud to three in which time the attacking team will have to produce the ball. Failure to do so will result in a scrum for the defending team.
The white card:
The white card review system, which was introduced in 2015, gives teams a limited opportunity to ask the referee to review a ruling. The system will only be used in the semi-finals and final in 2016 and will be limited to one review per half per team.
These new rules will only apply to the Varsity Cup and not the Varsity Shield, Koshuis Cup or the Young Guns competition, producing an interesting year of Varsity Cup rugby.
Photo: Stefan Stander