Super Rugby
Scrum laws 'complement Queensland Reds style'
ESPN Staff
January 22, 2014
James Slipper celebrates the Reds' third try of the night, Reds v Waratahs, Super Rugby, Lang Park, Brisbane, Australia, July 14, 2012
James Slipper says the Reds are raring to go © Getty Images

Queensland Reds are looking forward to playing their first match under the new scrum laws, with forwards coach Nic Stiles saying the revised protocols complement the team's playing style.

Packs now are required to bind in advance, and are not permitted to push until the ball is in, with the aim of quicker ball that permits more game time, especially now the "Yes, Nine" call has been replaced with a non-verbal signal for the scrum-half to feed the ball.

"This is a good thing because we want to see the ball in play, especially here at the Reds," Stile said. "We have such an exciting attacking team and to think we can have the ball in play even longer suits us well.

"What the IRB have done through these scrum laws is make the scrum more of a contest, the art of scrummaging has been brought back into the game, and I think it's a good move for the fans. In the past you've been able to launch yourselves in as a full pack of eight and whoever had the biggest collision won the scrum effectively, whereas now, that hit has been taken out of the scrum and scrum collapses will reduce."

Wallabies prop James Slipper, one of four Reds tight-five forwards who have experienced the new laws at Test level, said "since we came back a few weeks ago we've been straight on the scrum machine and scrumming against the each other.

"It's a tough fight up front, everyone is vying for spots and we're looking forward to the first trial game against the Chiefs. There are plenty of spots up for grabs, we've got a couple of big second-rowers coming back from the Wallabies, the size is there, and everyone is really fit and strong at the moment.

"It's been good at training, we've been giving it to each other and trying to iron out a few creases that we've probably developed over the last few years."

Slipper said the Reds were primed to make a statement against the Chiefs in their first pre-season trial, saying a strong performance against the back-to-back champions would bode well for the season. "They've won the last two championships, they build a good game around their set piece, and have an All Black front row."

The Reds defeated the Chiefs in Hamilton last season, the only time the back-to-back defending champions lost at home in their two title-winning campaigns.

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