The Bath loosehead, who played eight times for Wales last season, believes the alterations will benefit rather than penalise strong scrummagers, something that could work in his favour given his skills in the setpiece.
And while the hit phase has been drastically reduced in terms of its duration and distance, James doesn't expect that to lessen the importance of getting the upperhand when the two front rows do make contact.
"There will be no hiding place: you'll either be a good scrummager or you'll be found out," said James.
"Last season you had 50-50 calls and people could take a scrum down but hopefully that will all be taken out and they'll clean it up.
"You haven't got the big hit and chase now…but the hit is actually going to be more important than ever. Even though it will only be about a foot (that you're fighting for), you still need to try and win that foot. You certainly don't want to be caught short on the hit.
"I think props will find it harder now because there will be more work to do at the scrum. There will be so much more pressure and you'll have to put so much more into it."
James is urging patience on all sides as players and officials adapt to the variations and he admits we may have to put up with some teething problems along the way.
"We're all going to have to be patient. It's new for the refs as well and every ref will have a slightly different calling set up," added James.
"The biggest point is obviously keeping the scrum up. It will be easier to get a bind and the ref won't allow the scrum to set until both sides are bound. You're still going to have one or two that go down but this should resolve most of those problems."