Cockerill unimpressed with new scrums
August 29, 2013
Richard Cockerill wants the lawmakers to consult the coaches on new rule changes © Getty Images
Leicester Tigers boss Richard Cockerill has hit out at rugby's lawmakers for bringing in changes to the scrum without picking the brains of the Aviva Premiership coaches.
The opening match of the 2013-14 Premiership season will see Newcastle Falcons and Bath Rugby try out the new scrum engagement sequence for the first time in England's top flight. The new 'crouch, bind, set' call has been brought in to enhance player welfare by reducing impact, while scrum-halves must now feed the ball straight down the middle of the tunnel.
The Rugby Championship and the Top 14 have already tried the new engagement call and Cockerill has been unimpressed by his early experiences of the new scrum.
"When they change these laws, nobody asks Premiership coaches about the laws of the scrums," Cockerill said. "Who changes these things and what's their agenda?
"They say it's for safety, but it looks like the southern hemisphere are just trying to depower the scrum so the ball comes in and out. You'd like to think that the people who make and change these laws consult Premiership coaches instead of just doing it.
"We've played a couple of games with these laws and it takes a bit of getting used to, it's been messy. We're receiving different messages now, but the scrum is still a mess, so we'll have to see how it settles down. I don't know whether it's depowering the scrum.
"In one of the Rugby Championship games we had two of the best scrum-halves in the world laughing at each other because they were worrying about feeding and getting a card."
And Newcastle Falcons boss Dean Richards insists the jury remains out on the motivation behind the changes. He said: "It's been done for the right reasons, for safety reasons so we're told, and hopefully they will come through.
"There's no secret that the southern hemisphere has had agendas in the past in terms of dealing with the laws. You'd like to think that when they've said the changes are for safety reasons, that's the reason they've been made. If it's any other reason you'd be disappointed."
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