Doctors Propose Radical Change To Rugby As Injury Crisis Mounts


More than 70 doctors and academics are calling for a ban on tackling in rugby matches played in UK and Irish schools.

In an open letter to ministers, they say injuries from this “high-impact collision sport” can have lifelong consequences for children. They argue two thirds of injuries in youth rugby and most concussions are down to tackles and urge schools to move to touch and non-contact rugby.

Supporters say rugby builds character and other forms are less challenging. The concerns have been raised as a seven-year programme headed by the Rugby Football Union is on target to introduce rugby to a million children in state schools across England.

Dozens of medics are hoping that the government will look into protecting children, and parents will choose non-contact rugby, or tag rugby, for their children instead.

Doctors, who have treated various children in rugby-related situations, feel that there needs to be an urgent re-think on the dangers facing children playing rugby.

“The majority of all injuries occur during contact or collision, such as the tackle and the scrum.

“These injuries which include fractures, ligamentous tears, dislocated shoulders, spinal injuries and head injuries can have short-term, life-long, and life-ending consequences for children.”

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