9 Jun 2021

RFL Laws Committee update: Scrums

There will be no immediate return of scrums to domestic Rugby League, but the issue will be considered again in one month’s time.

The decision was made by the RFL’s Laws Committee at its meeting on 2 June, which took place against the backdrop of an uncertain public health situation.

Medical and scientific evidence regarding protracted close contact were key when the initial decision was made to suspend scrums from the restart of the 2020 season. In deciding to defer a decision, the committee considered the level of risk against the potential impact on fixtures across the Betfred Super League, Championship and League 1.

Scrums remain in the International Laws of the game and will feature in the Rugby League World Cup in the autumn.

The committee will, however, seek RFL Board approval to remove the recently-introduced ball steal law with effect from the start of the 2022 season. Members were unanimous in their view that the law be rolled back to its 2021 interpretation and that the RFL should lobby the International Rugby League for the law’s removal from the international game from 2022.

In attendance at the meeting were: Ralph Rimmer (Chair); Robert Hicks (Secretary); Chris Chester (Head coaches); Laura Fairbank (RFL Head of Medical); Steve Ganson (RFL Head of Match Officials); Carl Hall (League 1 clubs); Paul Harrison (Championship clubs); Gemma Phillips (Clinical Advisory Group); Dave Rotheram (RFL Chief On-field Officer); Paul Sculthorpe (England Performance Unit); Kris Radlinski (Super League clubs); Danny Wilson (Heads of Youth).

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