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End of the set piece: Rugby province introduces new trial rules to remove scrums, lineouts for junior grade

New Zealand Rugby turned heads earlier this week when it announced it was introducing experimental laws at junior grades to promote safety, but one province is going even further by removing two fundamental parts of the game.

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North Harbour says the game has to catch up with changing times. Source: 1 NEWS

North Harbour Rugby confirmed to 1 NEWS they will trial a junior grade that will remove scrums and lineouts from the game.

NZR’s head of participation and development, Steve Lancaster, told 1 NEWS today the organisation supports North Harbour – just like it did in 2019 when the union made the debated call to axe junior representative teams.

“There's some pushback on this but you can't please everyone,” Lancaster said.

“Our focus is on our participants rather than our past participants — we want everyone to love the game.

"The thing about the world we live in is it's different to 30 years ago and rugby also needs to be different to what it was 30 years ago.”

NZ Rugby CEO Mark Robinson told media earlier this week certain grades this year will trial three new rules this season, including a change in tackle heights and no jumping for high kicks.

Another law change, Robinson explained, will have players using a "split-stance" when guarding the ruck to lower the chances of the neck and spine being exposed to a hit from opposition attempting to clear a player out.