Scrum – (Axial loading)- Law change as a result of player welfare and safety

The World Rugby Law Review Group held its conference last week in London (27 and 28 June), where a unanimous agreement was reached after a comprehensive research/survey conducted from TOP International Hookers across Tier 1 Nations including two South African hookers,  that the AXIAL Loading on Hooker’s neck has an adverse, undesirable and unbearable pressure on their necks that has a potential of catastrophic injury on their cervical spine.

Coaches and referees are urged to act with immediate effect in preventing this potential catastrophic injury from happening!. During the scrum cadence, a hooker will not be allowed to lean and “deload” the weight of the entire forwards onto the shoulder of the opposition hooker at the “BIND” call from the referee. There must be a clear GAP with longer binding if necessary While non-compliance will result in a FK on the first occasion, any further offending of this nature, will result in an upgrade to a penalty, which will apply for the rest of the match. The implications of further repeat offending also carry with it the sanction of a yellow card as is customary in our laws. We must be firm in discouraging this practice!

See graphic illustration below for reference.