Rugby Scrum Practices

The scrum is used to restart play if the ball has been knocked on or gone forwards in some way if the ball fails to come out of a ruck or maul and also for an accidental offside. The following practice drills build up the scrum starting the front row only and adding players until all eight are involved.


Scrum – Squeeze, Dip, Shove!

This is a great drill for getting the timing right in a scrum. Players get into a huddle and chant squeeze… dip….. shove to get used to working as a team.

Explanation: Designed to improve the timing of the scrums in-game, involves the team squeezing together, binding, dipping to crouch and touching and shoving for the engagement.

Scrum – Front Row

Here we explain the basics and techniques for playing in the front row of a scrum. Binding and foot position is important as well as spine safety.

This drill focuses purely on the front row. It works on tightening the bind between the two probs and the hooker. The props should bind tightly to the hooker.

  • The props should have the feet spread shoulder-width apart, bond tightly to the hooker and have their shoulders square and upright.
  • Hips should be below the shoulders on the engage, and the chin should be off the chest, making sure the spine is in a straight line to avoid spine damage.
  • The hookers should bind over the props and again get in a square position, hips in line with the shoulders, spine straight, and chin off the chest.

Scrum – Second Row

This drill focuses on the second row in the scrum. Its purpose is to help teach the second row how to bend, push, and what position they should be in when engaged in the push. The second row’s job is to bind together and place the head in between the prop and the hooker.

  • With the free arm, they should go through the legs of the hooker and prob and grab hold or “bind” to the props short as close to their own ear or head.
  • By doing this, it keeps the props tight.
  • During the engagement, the hips should be below the shoulders, make sure the spine is in line (to avoid back damage) and the feet are square in a good, powerful driving position.

Scrum – Flanker

This drill progresses to include the back row. Here we explain the role and technique of playing flanker in the scum and how to avoid common faults.

  • The back row has a job in the scrum to bind securely to the second row.
  • His job is to scrum first, and then worry about what happens after the scrum after.
  • For example, if the opposition number 8 or scrum-half tries to run the ball from a scrum, it is the flanker’s job to stop him.

Scrum – Full 8

The final progression is to include the number 8 right at the back of the scrum. Here we look at the overall performance of the scrum and how it operates in a game situation.

This drill involves putting the full 8 into the scrum.

  • The ref will call crouch, touch, pause and then engage.
  • Once the scrum is in place, the scrum-half will place the ball in.
  • It is the hooker’s job to secure the ball back, to the back of the scrum.
  • The number 8 should then secure the ball between his feet.
  • Hips should be shoulder level, and everyone should be bound tightly.

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