World Rugby Considering Radical Changes To Tackle Laws

High tackle warning.

World Rugby are considering a new “High Tackle Warning” system that they believe may prove effective in lowering tackle heights, and reduce concussion rates in rugby.

The radical new system could see players punished for getting themselves concussed due to poor body position when tackling. World Rugby chief medical officer Martin Raftery while they are trying to protect the ball carrier – the focus us “more on the tackler”.

“What we are trying to do through a number of different processes is bring the tackle height down, to protect the more the tackler than the ball carrier,” World Rugby chief medical officer Martin Raftery said.

“Yes we are trying to protect the ball carrier as well but the focus is more on the tackler.”

Raftery said this would be achieved through a “high tackle warning system”.

“That’s about penalising a tackler for being in the upright position who has then clear and obvious head contact with the ball carrier,” Raftery added

“And it doesn’t matter whether the ball carrier is injured or the tackler is injured. If the tackler is upright, when there’s clear and obvious contact, can receive an extra penalty.

World Rugby conducted a study back in 2016  that reviewed 1516 professional matches dating to back between 2013 and 2015. The study identified 611 concussion injuries, and each incident was analysed in detail. The ensuing data was then used to identify the elements of rugby with most risk of sustaining a head injury.

Unsurprising, the tackle accounted for 75 per cent of the 611 concussions but somewhat surprisingly, it was the tackler – not the ball carrier – who was injured the most. Of the 611, 335 concussions were suffered by the tackler and only 129 by the ball carrier.

Is this a step in the right direction?

[Daily Telegraph]