Scotland’s controversial RBS Six Nations defeat by Wales at Murrayfield this season could become the catalyst for major changes in the way the game is played.
Statistical analysis of the tournament by the International Board has found 51 per cent of scrums resulted in a penalty or free kick.
This bears out comments in the Scottish camp after the Wales game in particular that some teams were using the scrum not as a restart vehicle but as a means of trying to gain penalties or free kicks.
The top two teams, Wales and England, were the sides whose scrums produced the lowest amount of possession: Wales won the ball from only 34 per cent of scrums, with England next on the list at 36 per cent.
When these teams went head to head there were 13 scrums with only three producing first phase possession best for attacking. “For certain teams it appears that the benefit from scrums comes not so much from possession but from the penalties and free kicks they manage to obtain,” the study said.
Meanwhile, Scotland stand off Duncan Weir has been ruled out of this summer’s South African tour after suffering a leg-break.