School of Engineering and Physics


Team Scrum Machine

Project Title: design and manufacture of a rugby union scrum machine


Fiji Rugby Union (FRU) High Performance Unit (HPU) 


To design and construct a Rugby Union Scrum Machine prototype that has:

  • Removal Pads
  • Variable shoulder width
  • Extend pads to accommodate high and low forward pack heights
  • Design a mechanism that will identify whether a pack is driving up on the engagement and/or shove


A scrum machine can be invaluable in training the forward pack for better scrummaging. However the cost of such a machine imported from abroad would stretch the budget of the local rugby unions.  For some rugby unions the purchase is not viable and accessing one difficult. While overseas teams keep up the use of technology to enhance their scrummaging technique; local teams rely on live scrummaging against equally unskilled opposition. This lack of proper training aids, such as a scrum machine, is reflected when local teams or the national team play overseas teams. Local scrummage tactics fail in such matches and many tries are conceded as a result of this. There is clearly a need for scrum machines to be designed and built locally.  The design will have to be economically viable to build yet strong enough to last service conditions. Also, this scrum machine must address the unique needs of the local players.

Target Population Group:

Fiji rugby players in the senior divisions


  • The final design has been manufactured by NEL and the pads are being made by Tents & Awnings Ltd
  • The design has been finalized
  • The design incorporates easy to manufacture square hollow section pipes as well as a new tilting pad feature which enables coaches to determine when the front row are driving upwards instead of horizontally.
  • Also, once the optimal pad height has been determined, the new tilting pad feature will be able to determine if the front row are hitting too high.
  • The images shown to the right are in Sketchup format imported from AutoCAD.

Future Work:

At the moment we are designing a simple scrum machine that can be useful in enhancing scrummage techniques but it would be interesting to make a scrum machine that can measure the force exerted by the forward pack during scrummage. We invisage three uniaxial load cells configurated to measure pushing forces, vertical forces and wheeling forces in the scrum.

Helpful Weblinks: 



FRU Scrum Machine 3D

Latest Fabrication Pictures

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Page updated: Wednesday, January 20, 2016
School of Engineering and Physics
Faculty of Science and Technology
Private Bag, Laucala Campus,
Suva, Fiji.
Tel: (+679) 323 2223/323 2638
Fax: (+679) 323 1538