USA Men's 15s head coach Gary Gold has come out against World Rugby's amendment to Law 19 on scrum engagement.
The change outlaws the practice of front row players placing their heads onto opposition players’ shoulders between the call of ‘bind’ and ‘set’ on engagement, and is effective immediately.
The idea is to prevent increased rotation on front row players' spines during engagement.
“This latest small, but important amendment to the scrum law based on robust research could have significant welfare benefits for front-row players at all levels and therefore the World Rugby, Executive Committee was overwhelmingly in favor of approving the Rugby Committee’s recommendation into law," " said World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont.
But Gold, who has played and coached a fair bit of front row rugby doesn't care for the change.
Dont agree at all. How can a front row keep the space, & also get a legal long bind. This is not mechanicaly possible!! Apologies to the the Science gurus, who BTW I think have many other issues spot on, but this time it is impracticable and a box ticking exercise. https://t.co/rhsYmq4OJF— Gary Gold (@GaryGoldrugbyiq) July 17, 2019
"Don't agree at all," tweeted Gold. "How can a front row keep the space, & also get a legal long bind. This is not mechanically possible!!"
What Gold means is that props must bind around the opposite prop's shoulders and up onto their backs. If you have to back off from the opposing front row, you can't reach that far.
Gold praised those who have been doing research into this, but all it a "box-ticking exercise," meaning that World Rugby can say it addressed issues in the scrum even if the effort produces other issues.