• Switch Edition
ESPN SCRUM / News in Brief / News
European Rugby
Heineken Cup to embrace scrum trial
ESPN Staff
September 27, 2013
The global scrum trial has been in operation in all the major domestic leagues including France's Top 14 © Getty Images

European rugby chiefs have confirmed that this season's Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup will embrace both the scrum and Television Match Official trials.

Scrum and TMO Trials

  • + 'Crouch-Bind-Set' scrum engagement sequence
  • Front rows should be in an 'ear-to-ear' position on the 'Crouch' command
  • Referees will look for stability after the 'Set' command before saying: 'Yes 9', to prompt the scrum half to put the ball in
  • Referees have been asked to be strict on non-straight scrum feeds
  • + Extended TMO powers
  • TMO can be consulted to review up to two phases (rucks or mauls) before a ball is grounded for a try
  • TMO can be consulted for incidents of possible foul play anywhere in the playing enclosure
  • TMO can notify the referee of possible foul play at the next break in play after the possible foul play has occurred
  • If there is a big screen in the ground, the referee can make a decision without requesting a recommendation from the TMO

The scrum trial, which was introduced worldwide last month, will see referees in both competitions use the 'Crouch-Bind-Set' engagement sequence. The referees will also adopt the 'Yes 9' call to let the scrum-half know that the scrum is ready for the ball. This is an invitation not an instruction to put the ball in the scrum with the player then expected to act without undue delay.

The International Rugby Board guidelines advise referees to offer a signal or indicate with their voice when the scrum is square and stationary with the 'Yes 9' call having emerged as the most common method during the trial although there have been concerns that this takes the element of surprise out of the attacking side's armoury.

The referees will also be able to consult with the TMO to review up to two phases (rucks or mauls) before the ball is grounded in the act of scoring. The TMO can also be called on by the referee to advise on incidents of possible foul play anywhere in the playing enclosure.

ERC match official performance manager Donal Courtney, who carried out a comprehensive series of workshops with coaching staff from all participating clubs from England, France, Ireland, Italy, Romania, Scotland and Wales, said: "I made the point to the coaches that apart from the law trials there are no other changes to the refereeing of the game, and that the referees and assistant referees have been asked to focus on clear and obvious offences at the tackle, ruck, maul and lineout."

The referees for Rounds 1 and 2 of the Heineken Cup and the Amlin Challenge Cup have also been confirmed. Frenchman Romain Poite will be the man in charge when the Heineken Cup gets underway on October 11 with Leicester Tigers' visit to Ulster. Two days later, Welshman Nigel Owens will referee the heavyweight French confrontation of Racing Metro 92 and ASM Clermont Auvergne at Stade Yves du Manoir, and in Round 2, Owens will again be on duty when Saracens host four-time champions, Toulouse, at Wembley Stadium.

Referee Appointments - Heineken Cup Rounds 1 & 2: (All kick-offs local time)

Friday, 11 October 2013
Pool 3 - Connacht Rugby v Saracens 20.00 Pascal Gauzère (Fra)
Pool 5 - Ulster Rugby v Leicester Tigers 20.00 Romain Poite (Fra)
Pool 3 - Toulouse v Zebre Rugby 21.00 Luke Pearce (Eng)

Saturday, 12 October 2013
Pool 6 - Edinburgh Rugby v Munster Rugby 13.35 JP Doyle (Eng)
Pool 5 - Benetton Treviso v Montpellier 14.35 Dudley Phillips (Ire)
Pool 4 - Harlequins v Scarlets 15.40 John Lacey (Ire)
Pool 1 - Castres Olympique v Northampton Saints 16.40 George Clancy (Ire)
Pool 1 - Ospreys v Leinster Rugby 18.00 Wayne Barnes (Eng)
Pool 6 - Gloucester Rugby v Perpignan 18.00 Leighton Hodges (Wal)

Sunday, 13 October 2013
Pool 2 - Exeter Chiefs v Cardiff Blues 12.45 Jerome Garces (Fra)
Pool 2 - Toulon v Glasgow Warriors 16.00 Greg Garner (Eng)
Pool 4 - Racing Métro v ASM Clermont Auvergne 21.00 Nigel Owens (Fra)

Friday, 18 October 2013
Pool 3 - Saracens v Toulouse 19.45 Nigel Owens (Wal)
Pool 5 - Leicester Tigers v Benetton Treviso 20.00 Pascal Gauzère (Fra)

Saturday, 19 October 2013
Pool 2 - Cardiff Blues v Toulon 13.35 JP Doyle (Eng)
Pool 3 - Zebre Rugby v Connacht Rugby 14.35 Ian Davies (Wal)
Pool 1 - Leinster Rugby v Castres Olympique 15.40 Greg Garner (Eng)
Pool 5 - Montpellier v Ulster Rugby 16.40 Leighton Hodges (Wal)
Pool 4 - Scarlets v Racing Métro 18.00 Neil Paterson (Sco)
Pool 6 - Munster Rugby v Gloucester Rugby 18.00 Jerome Garces (Fra)

Sunday, 20 October 2013
Pool 1 - Northampton Saints v Ospreys 12.45 Alain Rolland (Ire)
Pool 6 - Perpignan v Edinburgh Rugby 13.45 Marius Mitrea (Ita)
Pool 2 - Glasgow Warriors v Exeter Chiefs 14.00 Romain Poite (Fra)
Pool 4 - ASM Clermont Auvergne v Harlequins 16.00 George Clancy (Ire)

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Download ESPN's new UK multisport app, a fresh and powerful new way to follow your favourite UK sports news, scores and video.