With all the hullabaloo about new law interpretations to encourage a fast-moving, high-scoring game, we spoke to some old-school front row experts to reassure us that scrums would not be depowered in favour of more mobile props.
Phil Vickery, Tim Payne and Keith Wood were adamant that the scrum would still be a critical element in rugby, with Payne referencing the recent England performances in Australia as an example of how important the scrum can be.
However, they did acknowledge that front row players would need to adapt to the changing nature of the game, with mobility around the park a key factor.
“Like any sport, the more all round you are the better you are as a player. With the way Northampton play they have to have guys that are comfortable on the ball and be able to play, but at the same time you’ve got to be able to scrum and do the hard bits” said Vicks.
Payne added, “You’ve seen the last internationals, the scrum has been a driving force on how teams are playing. Like Vicks said, players do have to be a bit more mobile, and you actually find now that your front five players probably do more work than anyone else on the pitch, because they are having to do scrums plus get around the park. We actually worked out that they run more miles on the clock than any other players.”
Here is a sneak preview of the interview before tomorrow’s Podcast is published.[podcast]/Podcasts/VicksPayneedit.mp3[/podcast]
For the full interview, tune in to The Rugby Blog Podcast out this Thursday. Phil and Tim were speaking on behalf of Bushmills, the legendary Irish Whiskey. Catch up with them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BushmillsUK.”