8 Jan 2014

"Yes Nine" call to be replaced in rugby laws

5:41 am on 8 January 2014

The IRB has ditched the "yes, nine" scrum call and will replace it with a non-verbal, pre-agreed instruction with immediate effect.

The changes will be implemented at all levels of the game worldwide, and will be replaced by a non-verbal instruction from the referee to the halfback when they consider the scrum to be square and stable.

The "yes, nine" call has been subject to criticism as it can take away the crucial timing advantage or element of surprise for an attacking pack at scrum-time.

Critics also say the sequence effectively allows the defending side to push against seven players as the hooker strikes for the ball.