Always going forward, never in reverse

scrumThe new scrum directive coming into use this season should significantly reduce the number of scrums collapsing, says international referee Wayne Barnes.

Scrums will now have “crouch, bind, set” instructions – front rows will have to bind before engaging and packs cannot push until the referee is happy.  Barnes said there had been a “positive outcome” in pre-season trials.  We’ve seen more scrums off the floor, fewer resets, more ball in play and a better spectacle.”

But he also admitted “there will be teething problems”.

Well, let’s see what happens tonight at Ravenhill, following a game of two halves in Newport, when the Dragons’ scrum seemed to have more reverse gears than an Italian tank, until the touch judge rode to their rescue.

The Ulster team to play Glasgow tonight contains seven changes:

Ulster XV

(15-9):  J Payne, D McIlwaine, D Cave, L Marshall, M Allen, P Jackson, I Porter

(1-8): C Black, R Herring, D Fitzpatrick, J Muller (Captain), D Tuohy, R Wilson, S Doyle, N Williams


(16-23): N Annett, T Court, R Lutton, I Henderson, C Henry, P Marshall, J McKinney, R Andrew