A revised scrum sequence, 'crouch, bind, set', is expected to debut in America this summer, at the beginning of the 2013-14 season.
Earlier this month, the International Rugby Board announced worldwide rollout for competitions commencing 'on or after' August 1, citing a successful trial during the spring's Pacific Rugby Cup, a league of regional sides from the Pacific islands. A USARFU committee is meeting today to discuss implementation, according to a union official.
The sequence is intended to cut down on collapsed scrums, increasingly blighting test rugby, and to promote safety by reducing the impact on front rows. The force of collision will be reduced by some 25 percent, the IRB estimates.
Under the new regime, the 'crouch' position has been redefined to include 'bending the knees sufficiently to move into the engagement without a charge'. The sanction for 'charging' will be a penalty kick.
At the next phase, 'bind', props connect using their outside arm, and maintain the link through engagement. A binding infringement brings a free kick.
Recalling the decades when front rows managed the engagement themselves, the referee's final call, 'set', is not a command, but a signal 'the front rows may come together when ready'.
Dublin also hopes the new sequence will encourage halfbacks feeding the ball straight into the scrum, to promote a even contest for possession. The IRB's efforts to police the crooked feed have repeatedly failed, as referees have been otherwise engaged.
Chris Biller's foot injury will prevent the San Francisco Golden Gate hooker from playing in Saturday's Pacific Nations Cup match against Canada.