Wallabies prop Scott Sio is all for the introduction of a scrum clock to remove one of the biggest blights in rugby – as long as safety comes first.

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Australia’s four Super Rugby coaches have proposed a series of initiatives they hope can be trialled during the domestic competition set to start in July, pending the lifting of state travel restrictions, in a bid to re-engage fans.

Chiefly, the alarming revelation that the ball was in play for only 36 minutes and four seconds out of a possible 80 minutes during the knockout stages of last year’s World Cup highlighted the need for rugby to lift its game as a spectacle.

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The continual re-setting of scrums and constant intervention from referees remains one of the biggest bugbears for fans.

It’s understood Brumbies coach Dan McKellar, NSW Waratahs mentor Rob Penney, Queensland’s Brad Thorn and Melbourne’s Dave Wessels want scrums to be set in 30 seconds or less.

“As this year has shown, we have to have the ability to adjust and adapt,” Sio said when asked about the prospect of a scrum clock.

“And if that is something that is brought in, it’s something we’ll definitely have to train for and take some time to train for at least a month because it will require us to be a bit quicker at set-up time.

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“Safety is paramount first and foremost.

“So whatever did help make the game exciting for the fan base but safe for the players at the same time, we’re all for it.”

Sio said there were “a lot of big injury risk factors at play” to consider.

“But if it’s something that’s trained repetitively over a period of time, we can definitely manage that and handle that as a group,” he said after Australia’s Super Rugby clubs resumed training on Monday.

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The Brumbies star also defended Super Rugby lagging behind the NRL and AFL in an expected return to play.

“Our sport was always going to take a tad longer. There’s a lot of different factors at play – the biggest one being it’s an international competition,” Sio said.

“The AFL and the NRL have the luxury of being domestic competitions so it’s about making sure they look after what’s happening here in Australia.

“We had to make sure we were running the same protocols as every other country as well and running alongside them as a global game.”

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