Wallabies lock Dean Mumm has confirmed English players and fans are dismissive of Australia’s scrummaging capabilities, but he’s convinced things are looking up in that area ahead of next month’s World Cup.
Mumm recently returned to Australia after a three-year stint with English club Exeter.
The much scrutinised and often criticised Wallabies scrum has had some horrendous outings in Tests against England over the past decade.
The Australian scrum showed significant signs of improvement in last weekend’s win over world champions New Zealand, but England are again expected to target that area in a World Cup pool match against the Wallabies in early October,
“The Poms are not so keen on us scrummaging and certainly that opinion is pretty prevalent over there amongst supporters,” Mumm said.
“But more indicatively, in terms of the players, I think they feel that it’s an element that certainly can be pressured and one they certainly have dominance in.
“But from our point of view, it’s a great opportunity for us.
“We went okay in the scrum on the weekend and I think we’re certainly improving as an entity there, but we do have a long way to go.”
He felt the Wallabies were benefiting from the mentorship of recently appointed set piece coach Mario Ledesma, who played 84 Tests as a hooker for Argentina, a nation renowned for their scrummaging prowess.
Mumm said sides like England and Wales, another of Australia’s pool stage opponents at the World Cup, prided themselves on their ability to put pressure on opposing sides at the scrum.
“If you want to be a genuine article you’ve got to have the ability to do that yourself,” Mumm said.
“I don’t think we’re 100 per cent there on that but we’re certainly improving on it.
“We’ve worked hard in recent weeks. I think Mario is having a good influence on us.
“He understands the mentality associated with it, and in terms of scrummaging, that’s as big an element as anything.
“You are as good as your technique and your mentality from scrum to scrum, so there’s no real tricks of the trade that you can bring out.
“There’s no secret moves that you can pull in a scrum and you’re as good as one scrum and then you let that go and you have to move onto the next one, it’s as simple as that.”