Rugby league Test to be played without scrums

France and England have been allowed to play their rugby league Test next week in Perpignan without scrums.

Scrums were scrapped when the English Super League was restarted in August 2020 in order to reduce close contacts during matches at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

They remained absent when the 2021 season began in March. It was intended to bring scrums back before the end of the season, particularly in time for the Rugby League World Cup with Australia’s NRL still using scrums.

But with the World Cup that was due to start next week postponed for a year, it was decided in August to continue without scrums in the Super League due to lingering safety concerns.

At the request of English and French officials, International Rugby League agreed on Tuesday to suspend scrums for the Test on October 23.

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A statement read: “Following representation from the Rugby Football League and the Federation Francaise de Rugby a XIII (FFRXIII), the board of International Rugby League has approved a recommendation by the IRL laws advisory group to temporarily suspend scrums for the international matches between France and England to be played on October 23rd 2021.

“The request was made and supported on player welfare grounds and is consistent with the arrangements in the Super League and UK Championship competitions throughout 2021.”

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