Varsity Cup trials ‘defensive scrumhalf’

The scrumhalf defending the scrum in this year's Varsity Cup will not be allowed to pass the mouth of the scrum once the ball has been inserted.

In other words, the defending scrumhalf will not be allowed to follow the ball. The organisers hope this rule will encourage a running style of play and diminish the breakdowns at the scrum.

The 2015 tournament, which kicks off on 9 February, will also see the return of the white card, which allows coaches and captains to refer decisions for review to TMOs during games. It was first introduced during the inaugural Varsity Cup competition in 2008.

“This year is a very exciting year for Varsity Cup rugby,' said former Springbok captain Francois Pienaar, who founded the competition. 'The return of the white card presents us with a unique opportunity to trial something that we could one day see used in international rugby. Sport cannot afford to stagnate in this day and age and it's important that it evolves with the players in mind. The white card is there to ensure the correct decision is always made.'

Photo: Duif du Toit/Gallo Images

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Simon Borchardt