Springbok powerhouse prop Ox Nche. Photo by David Winter/Shutterstock

Ox Nche: The scrum allows ‘big boys’ to challenge each other

Ox Nche slams World Rugby’s scrum law change, suggesting fans watch rugby league instead. Springbok prop unhappy with amendment.


Springbok powerhouse prop Ox Nche. Photo by David Winter/Shutterstock

Ox Nche, the powerful prop forward who represents both the Springboks and the Sharks, has recently voiced his concerns regarding World Rugby’s decision to modify the scrum law. The amendment, set to take effect from 1 July, has been met with scepticism from various members of the rugby community, including Nche.

In an interview, the 28-year-old World Cup winner questioned the necessity of the change, suggesting that those who don’t appreciate the scrum’s role in rugby union should consider watching rugby league instead.

Nche’s comments align with the views of former referee Nigel Owens, who believes the amendment may lead to unintended consequences.

A Defining Feature of Rugby Union

For Nche, the scrum is an integral part of what makes rugby union unique. He emphasised that the set-piece allows players of all shapes and sizes to contribute to the game, with the “big boys” having the opportunity to challenge each other directly.

The Springboks relied heavily on their scrum dominance during their successful World Cup campaign in France last year.

Nche’s impact, especially when introduced as a substitute in the latter stages of the tournament, played a significant role in South Africa’s ability to defend their title.

The Importance of Unity in the Scrum

While Nche’s individual contributions have been noteworthy, he was quick to attribute the Springboks’ success to the cohesion and understanding within the forward pack.

He stressed the importance of being receptive to the preferences and insights of his teammates, particularly the locks.

“The most important thing is understanding the guys around you and making sure that we’re all making plans to actually make the scrum better and dominate the guys in front of us,” Nche explained, underlining the collaborative nature of the set-piece.

Sharks Benefit from Springbok Presence

Nche is currently part of a Sharks squad that features numerous Springboks, many of whom were instrumental in the national team’s 2023 World Cup triumph.

He believes that the presence of such experienced and open-minded players is invaluable to the Durban-based franchise.

The prop forward noted that not many players have the privilege of sharing the field with teammates who have won multiple World Cups or earned over 100 international caps.

This wealth of experience, he believes, makes a significant difference and contributes to the team’s success.

As the rugby community prepares for the implementation of the new scrum law, Ox Nche’s perspective serves as a reminder of the importance of this facet of the game and the value of unity within the forward pack.