The scrum is an important means of restarting play and gaining control of a game. Using correct technique will not only reduce the chance of injuries, but will ensure teams can compete safely in this crucial area of the game. The key points of scrummaging that all coaches, players and referees should know instinctively are:


  1. Prepare for engagement on the ref’s call “crouch-touch-pause”.
  2. Front rows safe distance apart – crouched and bound.
  3. Hips and shoulders are all square.
  4. Bend at the knees and hips.
  5. Shoulders above hips at all times.
  6. Head up, chin off chest.
  7. Back straight – spine in line.
  8. Eyes focused on the target area.
  9. Weight off the heels and on the balls of your feet.
  10. If not in the correct position or feel unsafe shout: “NOT READY, REF”.
  11. Never look away from your opponent once in the crouch position.
  12. Engage only on the ref’s call: “engage”.


At least two-thirds of scrum training should be away from the scrum machines. One-on-one and 3-on-3 drills are excellent ways to build skills and improve techniques. Your Rugbysmart DVD has a section dedicated to this.

  1. Drive from a low position up.
  2. Loose-head binds onto the torso the opposing tight-head’s back.
  3. Tight-head binds onto the torso of the opposing loose-head’s back.
  4. Binding should be firm and held until the scrum is completed.

Referees will want to speak to your front row players and halfback before the game to discuss the engagement process, and to ensure all front row forwards are of sufficient experience and strength for the grade of game being played.