Lions manager warns scrum rules have to be addressed 'as a matter of urgency'
LIONS team manager and former Scotland international Andy Irvine has called for an overhaul of the rules governing the scrum in rugby.
Irvine gave voice to frustrations at the inconsistent refereeing of one of the game's primary set-pieces when suggesting that the number of penalties and free-kicks being awarded is highlighting a deficiency in the rules governing this area.
"Tracking the Six Nations this year, nine times out of 10 there was a penalty or a free-kick awarded at the game's first scrum," said Irvine.
"During games we watched together, I said to Warren (Gatland) that there will be a penalty or a free-kick in the second scrum against the side who were penalised the first time, and most times I was correct. I don't think that is good for the game. I just think there has to be a serious rethink.
"They are going to improve it next season but whether they improve it enough, I don't know. I look back to when I played; the number of penalties and free-kicks in scrummage? Very few and far between."
Irvine also highlighted the growing trend of scrum-halves feeding the ball directly into the second or back-rows on their team's put in.
"The ball in the line-out has to be absolutely 100pc accurate but in the scrum, you can put it into the back-row," said Irvine. "These things need to be addressed as a matter of urgency."