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VIDEO – Patience is the key to scrum coaching says Rowntree

21 December 2012

  • Experienced scrummager Rowntree gives his top tips for coaches
  • Marsh’s Scrum Factory is a fantastic programme - Rowntree

England Forwards Coach Graham Rowntree scrummaged at the highest level for more than a decade. He knows that good coaching is fundamental to helping develop front row players of all ages and improve technique in the scrum.

Rowntree, ambassador of Marsh’s Scrum Factory, has seen several developments in the scrum over the past few years.

In camp with the England squad during the QBE Internationals this autumn, Rowntree passed on his advice for coaches working with the forwards today: “Look at all the little details. It’s not just the front row we’re looking at, with shoulder heights and hip placement. We’re looking at the back of the scrum – what I call the profile of the scrum.

“There’s a lot of detail to look at so you need patience – patience to sit and look through a lot of scrums…and patience to build it up within a session.”

He added: “Don’t be afraid to really break the groups down and have a hooker, a prop and a lock hitting the machine so you can look at their connection.”

England Forwards Coach Graham Rowntree coaching his scrum at a training session at Pennyhill Park

Photo: Getty Images

Rowntree is well aware that rugby needs to continually produce capable and skilled players, particularly in the front row and second row, to participate safely in the scrum.

“The Scrum Factory is a fantastic programme and I really want to thank Marsh again for coming on board. [The scrum] is an invaluable area of the game and it’s under-coached. We want it to be coached safely and correctly from an early age.”

Now in its second year, the Scrum Factory has played a significant role in teaching safe and effective scrummaging, with regular workshops held across the country. Almost 400 people have passed through the programme in 2012.

For more information, visit the Scrum Factory pages on