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RFL to delay rein­tro­duc­tion of scums

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The Rugby Football League Board have announced that scums won’t be reintroduced until January at the earliest.

Scrums were replaced by a play-the-ball restart as part of the return-to-play coronavirus protocols in August 2020.

They were recommended to return by the laws committee for 2022, if player double-vaccine take-up in the top two divisions was at least 85%.

That target has not been reached, while the Omicron variant has seen cases surge.

Clubs have been given guidance that players should be encouraged to have booster jabs, following enthusiasm to see scrums return from players and coaches.

The set-piece, although uncontested, is seen as a positive element of the sport by coaches and players as it ties in defenders and gives attacks a chance to run set-plays.

"We have not mandated vaccination, but we have worked with clubs to encourage their players to do their part, both for the sport and in the national battle against Covid-19," RFL chief regulatory officer Karen Moorhouse said.

"Consi­der­able progress has been made over the last couple of months, with some clubs setting an outstanding lead in terms of vaccination rates, and now boosters.

"We recognise this delay is far from ideal for coaches and players as they prepare for the 2022 season with ongoing uncertainty - but in a rapidly changing landscape this is the appropriate and responsible course of action as things stand."

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