World Rugby Want To See Even More Red & Yellow Cards

Clamping down.

World Rugby boss Brett Gosper has called for referees to show more red and yellow cards as the governing body continues their effort to eradicate dangerous tackles from the game.


A number of incidents went unpunished during the November window, including a controversial Owen Farrell hit and a late Samu Kerevi hit on Wales’ Leigh Halfpenny that left the fullback with a serious concussion.


“The cards are there to change behaviour,” Gosper told the Daily Telegraph.

“They only continue to be a problem if behaviour does not change. The only way you can get player behaviour to change is to sanction with red cards and actually, we have probably not seen enough of it.”

“I would say in many ways we have probably not been hard enough. There have probably not been as many yellow cards as we would like, and maybe not even as many red cards as we would like. We have not had the behaviour change that we are seeking yet, so we have to continue in that vein.”

“The whole tackle law is to protect the ball carrier and the tackler, in fact mostly the tackler, given that two thirds of concussions occur to that player rather than the one carrying the ball.”

“Dropping the height of the tackle is due to the statistics showing us that if the player is bent at the waist as they tackle, they are four times less likely to suffer a concussion. Of course when you drop the height of the tackle, you are also less likely to concuss the ball carrier.”

Gosper admitted that there has been a lack of consistency from them, but are confident this will be rectified in time.

“We recognise that there are consistencies, and over time that will sort itself out. We are working to rectify them. We cannot stand there with our hands up and say we get it right every time,” he said.

“Our job is to keep insisting on the objectives that we have for player welfare reasons. After the first weekend of November we had meetings with the referees and coaches to remind them what we are looking for in this area to get that consistency everyone wants to see.”

“It is not an easy job being a referee and they are under a lot of pressure,” he added.

“We give them our full support. Our job is to make them feel comfortable with what we want them to do with the tackle area.”

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