Sir Graham Henry Backs Changes To Tackle Rule For Safety Reasons


The world cup winning coach also favours prohibiting stealing possession on the ground.

Sir Graham Henry believes altering the the tackle rule and prohibiting stealing possession on the ground are two methods that can make rugby union a safer sport. Speaking in the Irish Times this morning, Henry said,

“I think the game is in pretty good nick,”

“The lawmakers will look at the game and say, ‘We don’t want Mummy saying Johnny can’t play so how do we de-physical the game a wee bit?’ Maybe drop the height of the tackle, maybe no hands at the breakdown. They’ve depowered the scrum so there is not the same number of injuries there, they’ve got the concussion thing sorted a lot better, so how we continue to make it a safer game is very important to the law-makers.

“Perhaps most injuries are occurring at the breakdown, with guys going over the ball who are pretty vulnerable. I think they’re looking at no-hands in that position, the (Richie) McCaw-type skill of getting over the ball will become a blow past the ball; which would make it an even quicker game which would probably suit the Kiwis.

“I think they’re trialling that law in New Zealand at a certain level to see if it would decrease the injury count, but I think one of the challenges at the moment is getting young kids playing and we’re having that challenge in some parts of New Zealand so let’s try and fix that.”

Henry was also asked about Ireland’s chances of beating New Zealand this November, whether it be in Dublin or Chicago and has this to say:

“Ireland teams have been hugely competitive, haven’t they? They went to South Africa and won the first test with a lot of guys not there due to injury. It will be a pretty good contest and if they take their opportunities, I remember 2013 they didn’t take their opportunities, it could happen.”

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