'Yes, nine' scrum call axed by IRB
ESPN Staff
January 7, 2014
Scrum-halves will now receive a non-verbal communication from the referee for when they can put the ball into the scrum © Getty Images

The International Rugby Board has ditched the controversial scrum call "yes, nine" replacing it with a non-verbal, pre-agreed instruction with immediate effect.

The news comes after an IRB review in which it asked national coaches and referee managers for their thoughts regarding the call.

The "yes, nine" call had been subject of some controversy in rugby circles, with one criticism being the fact it can take away the crucial timing advantage or element of surprise for an attacking pack at scrum-time by alerting the defending team exactly when to push.

But that is now a thing of the past with referees now signalling in some manner to the scrum-half when they can put the ball into the scrum. The change to the rule will be effective immediately with this weekend's Heineken Cup clashes taking on the new method.

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