Afternoon, I hope you are well.
Can a team given a free kick for an early shove at a scrum take the kick straight away or is there a requirement to have the packs disengaged before taking the free kick ?
Regards David Forrest
Good question. The team can take the Free Kick quickly, generally speaking referees are in favour of allowing a team to play at a high tempo providing it is done correctly and safely.
The place for the Free Kick is the centre of the scrum, obviously this place isn't accessible if the scrum is still formed, so moving backwards from the mark the nearest place to take the kick is at the base of the Number 8's feet.
A proviso against his would be if the scrum had collapsed for some reason, when the referee might want to make sure everyone got up safely before allowing the game to continue.
21.2 WHERE PENALTY AND FREE KICKS ARE TAKEN(a) The kicker must take the penalty or free kick at the mark or anywhere behind it on a linethrough the mark.....It should also be noted that this action puts the teammates of the Free Kick taker who are still engaged in the scrum, in an offside position, and as such they cannot take part in the game until they have been put onside.
The same would apply for a Penalty Kick at a scrum.
The Rugby Ref