The International Rugby Board (IRB) is to try out a new “crouch, touch, set” scrum engagement sequence next season in a bid to ease a problem area of the sport.

The trial sequence will feature the front rows crouching before the props use one arm to touch the shoulder of their opposite numbers.

The props follow up by withdrawing their arms, the referee will call “set” when the front rows are ready and the scrum can then be arranged.

“The scrum is a complex, dynamic area and it was very clear from advice and expertise evaluated by the Scrum Steering Group there is no quick and easy fix,” chairman Bernard Lapasset told the IRB's website (

“I would like to thank all Unions for their continued commitment to the important process of improvement in this area and their full support of this initial trial.”

The trial was approved at a meeting last month of the Scrum Steering Group which is made up of Union and players' representatives, former players and other experts.– Reuters