Scrum-time gives Mitchell food for thought

First published in Stourbridge RFC

NEIL Mitchell must reconsider how his Stourbridge side approach their scrummage play following rule changes implemented this coming season by the International Rugby Board.

Under the new laws, props will now be expected to crouch on the referee’s call, bind using their outside arm after the referee has called “bind”. The front rows will then maintain the bind until the referee calls “set” and at that point, the two packs will engage.

The changes are designed to make scrummaging safer and to encourage more youngsters to play in the front row.

However, the scrum has proved a big part of Stourbridge’s play. Mitchell said: “I will really have to work hard within the framework we have.

“Scrums are a main focus of our play and we will have to maximise what we have now that the engage element has been taken away.”

The Saxons director of rugby has also praised the progress made by local clubs in the area.

Mitchell expects to be running a squad of 32 players this season.

He said: “You’re always going to get two or three players carrying injuries, but there’s still going to be players left over.

“My intention is to get them out playing somewhere and it would be great if they could go to local clubs. It’s a testament to the area that we’ve got three clubs in a six-mile radius playing National League rugby.

“Not only does it attract players, but it helps sponsorship and commerical interests.”

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