The International Rugby Board has announced that a new scrum engagement sequence will be trialled next season.
The new call - "crouch, touch, set" - will replace the current format of "crouch, touch, pause, engage" when trialled across the globe next season.
The new sequence has received unanimous backing from the IRB's expert Scrum Steering Group. The trial was approved at a meeting of the specialist group - made up of Union and players' representatives, former players and other experts - in Bristol, England, last month.
The revised engagement process will be trialled alongside the five Law amendments announced in May forms one part of the IRB's ongoing commitment to improving the scrum phase of the Game.
The sequence will see the front rows crouch then touch and using their outside arm each prop touches the point of the opposing prop's outside shoulder. The props then withdraw their arms. The referee will then call "set" when the front rows are ready. The front rows may then set the scrum.
This sequence was one of six that were extensively researched at six different levels of the Game, including Women's Rugby, as part of the initial trial process. "Crouch, touch, set" was found to be the most successful and will now be trialled on a global level.
"Most people accept the scrum is currently a problematic area of the Game, accounting for roughly 17 per cent of match time in elite Rugby and with more than 50 per cent of scrums resulting in collapses or resets," said IRB Rugby Committee Chairman and former New Zealand captain Graham Mourie.
"The IRB is committed to addressing these issues and has tasked the specialist steering group to identify the causes and solutions. This is a positive first step, but it should be noted that we must wait for the outcomes of the three-year Scrum Forces Project before we can take an holistic approach to the scrum."
IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset added that "The scrum is a complex, dynamic area and that there is no quick and easy fix."
"There are many contributing factors and we need to take a complete view of the scrum environment including engagement, Laws, forces and player welfare," added Lapasset.
The news calls got the backing from International Rugby Players' Association (IRPA) representative David Barnes, former France forwards coach and current Under 20 coach Didier Retière as well as England forwards coach Graham Rowntree.
"The number of scrum resets in the elite Game has reached an unprecedented level and the new three-step process is a significant advance in trying to address the issue. As the IRPA player representative on the Scrum Steering Group, players will have input to any potential changes being considered," said Barnes.
"Whilst it is vital for the scrum to remain an integral, combative element of the Game, the players fully support the IRB research into reducing the number of resets, while also ensuring player welfare remains the key priority."
Retière said it is "collective responsibility" of coaches and players "to buy in to this process and work together."
"We need to have less collapses and resets and anything that can improve this vital part of our Game should be applauded," said Rowntree.
"I will be very interested to see how the trial goes."
The revised sequence has yielded positive outcomes and it should be noted that the sequence is just one area of the scrum that is being reviewed by the IRB and its Member Unions.
The Group examined the results of extensive testing of engagement sequence variations in live and machine environments in a trial driven by the IRB Scrum Forces Project which provides in-depth analysis of biomechanical forces in the scrum.
The unprecedented IRB-funded three-year study is being run by the Sport, Health & Exercise Science group at the University of Bath in collaboration with the RFU and is intended to identify better playing, coaching and refereeing techniques for this key facet of the Game.