No scrums in England upcoming test against France

France rugby league team
Benjamin Garcia (centre) of France is congratulated after scoring a try during the Rugby League World Cup match between England and France at Perth Rectangular Stadium in Perth, Sunday, November 12, 2017
Scrums were scrapped when Super League was restarted in August 2020 in order to reduce the number of close contacts during matches at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.They remained absent when the 2021 season began in March and the ruling was extended by the Rugby Football League (RFL) to matches in the Championship and League 1.

It was intended to bring scrums back before the end of the season, particularly in time for the 2021 World Cup with the NRL still using scrums, but it was decided in August to continue without them in the English domestic competitions due to lingering safety concerns.

It has now been decided to play without scrums for the Test match in Perpignan, which was arranged following the postponement of the World Cup by 12 months.

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.”

France set to be without key trio for England test

France coach Laurent Frayssinous’s plans to announce his captain for the test match against England in Perpignan on October 23 have been thrown into disarray.

Catalans Dragons skipper Ben Garcia was set to be unveiled as France’s new captain following his club’s inaugural appearance in the Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford on Saturday evening.But he was ruled out of the end-of-season international by his club coach Steve McNamara after sustaining a badly broken hand during the Dragons’ 12-10 defeat by St Helens.Frayssinous had already been denied the services of Theo Fages, who led France at the 2017 World Cup, after the St Helens scrum-half underwent surgery for a shoulder he broke in the Challenge Cup final in July.

And Frayssinous also expects to be without experienced Catalans front-row forward Jullien Bousquet after he picked up an injury in the bruising encounter against Saints.

“Ben and Theo Fages were my choice for captain with Bousquet as a back-up option so I’ll have to have a rethink,” said Frayssinous.

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