The Argentine Rugby Union issued a report showing and detailing everything that has been done over the years to improve and train players and coaches regarding the scrum.
With a definite course to improve the scrum in terms of its drive, safety and training of the players, the Argentine Rugby Union has been following a meticulous path for several years. It started in 2016 with the creation of Safe Rugby, which is aimed at preserving the safety and health of the rugby player, working side by side transversally with all areas related to the game such as High Performance, Training, Development and Competition, Systems , Referato and Médica.
The Safe Rugby Program was created in 2016 with the purpose of preventing all kinds of injuries, with a special focus on catastrophic injuries and head trauma. In addition, it collaborates so that in all situations of the game, its protagonists know and carry out the skills, physical and technical in a correct way, respecting the principles that the Regulations of Rugby itself are concerned with highlighting in its prologue.
“The best thing that was achieved is that everyone today knows that you have to take care of yourself and your rival. It was necessary to make a cultural change, to talk again about loyalty and honesty in the scrum and in the game, ”says Nestor Galán, president of Rugby Seguro.
One of the steps taken on this path came with the implementation of First Line Accreditation (APL), a mandatory assessment that every competitive player (from M15 onwards) must perform to perform as a pillar or hooker. It is intended to certify the knowledge of the player who will perform in the positions on the front line. In addition, it seeks to generate an awareness for coaches and players about the importance of the physical integrity of each one and the continuous, irreplaceable and unalterable implementation of the values that identify rugby and its players, in particular emphasizing the importance of honesty and loyalty in the practice of the game.
“The main objective of Rugby Insurance is security in the game. Training is essential to create a safe context. We had to do progressive – evolutionary work because we see shortcomings that we needed to correct and improve in our grassroots rugby. Among other objectives, Rugby Seguro has the training and cultural change that this entails ”, says Alexis Padovani, responsible for the program Rugby Seguro.
In turn, the constant and silent work in this area had an important focus on raising awareness, developing talks throughout the country with the different actors such as Security Referents (chosen by each Union at the request of the UAR), trainers, leaders and players. In 2016, as part of this work, several measures were taken from the UAR and one of them was to limit the scrum’s push by one and a half meters. This resolution was endorsed by World Rugby and ran for all the competitive rugby of the Superior Divisions of the country. In addition, in each scrum that was carried out, the touch judges entered the field of play, to assist the referee in controlling the correct development of the formation. It is worth noting that, in youth rugby, the regulation indicates that you never push more than a meter and a half, not only in our country, but throughout the world.
Other measures taken in reference to the scrum were the establishment of the aggravated yellow card, the creation of the Safety and Scrum Referents, and the creation of the electronic card as an unprecedented security tool.
New goals for 2019
In 2019 with the aim of returning to the free push that our rugby had before 2016 and getting back in tune with the rest of world rugby, two paths were established to develop in the short, medium and long term. Rugby Seguro worked, first of all, on the modification of the regulations for Children’s Rugby, which in 2018 had its first test phase in five unions: Chubut, Cuyo, Tucumán, Cordobesa and URBA.
In the second instance, in the months following the first tests, comments and improvements were collected that were put into practice in an open trial throughout the country in 2019, and which later led to modifications that gave shape to the final regulation, approved at the National Children’s Rugby Congress held at the Hindu Club, in November of last year.
In the long term, the new Rules for Children’s Rugby is a key stage since it works a progressive scrum from the division of M8 to M12, proposing that, without defining positions, all the boys have the stimulus to push in the scrum with a correct body position, which also carries over to tackle and ruck.
Scrum in higher divisions
On the other hand, in line with the new objectives for 2019, in the short and medium term, focusing on youth rugby and higher divisions, the High Performance area held 23 scrum trainings during 2019, reaching all regions of the country, with the presence of scrum specialists and UAR national trainers: Mario Ledesma, Nicolás Fernández Miranda, Eduardo Fernández Gill, Ricardo Le Fort, Julio García and Galo Álvarez Quiñones. In this instance, 3,257 attendees were trained.
“When we started working with the trainings and visiting the different centers and academies across the country, what we wanted was to get closer to the clubs, share what we are doing and listen to the main needs of the coaches. It was essential to have these meetings because it allowed us to dialogue, align concepts and spill all the knowledge that the UAR Training structure has, ”says Mario Ledesma, Head Coach of Los Pumas.
For its part, in this 2020, the mandatory isolation did not stop the work and through virtual training, the Scrum 2020 Course was taught, by Alexis Padovani, Andrés Bordoy, Julio García, Ricardo Le Fort and Galo Álvarez Quiñones. This training reached the 25 Provincial Unions, totaling 929 attendees over 18 trainings.
Scrum benchmarks in Argentina
Another important aspect on the way to reach all the Unions, was the designation by each of its Scrum Referrer. All of them had their first face-to-face training on November 1 and 2 of last year at Hindú Club, under the orders of the following UAR educators: Sergio Abbate, Alexis Padovani, Eduardo Fernández Gill and Sergio Carossio. They, in addition to downloading content, evaluated the participants in their role as scrum trainers.
This group of referents will be in charge of evaluating on-court competitions and certifying one referent per club in their Union. They may do so if they are World Rugby Educators or, failing that, they must be accompanied by one of them to carry out the evaluation.
These club referents must have passed both instances of the Level 1 Scrum Course, online and in person, and then carry out a scrum training project. This implies the evaluation, analysis and subsequent development of the plan of each institution for the training of this training.
Level 1 Course – Scrum
The Level 1 Scrum Course was launched last year and its virtual stage can be held at the UAR Campus, which so far has 1912 approved people. Beyond those who seek to obtain full approval of the course, all those interested are invited to carry out this first stage, which will provide them with knowledge regarding the scrum methodology.
Marcelo Rodríguez, President of the UAR: “We have worked for almost four years together with all the Unions in an organic way and we have traveled the necessary path in order to achieve the objectives that we set ourselves to have a Safer Rugby throughout the country. Players’ health is paramount and we had to move forward decisively and understand that when injuries can be prevented, they are no longer accidents. The cultural change we are considering is beginning to take place and everyone has become aware of the meaning of the word security. We have returned to the foundations of our game talking about honesty and loyalty knowing that we have to take care of each other. ”