Thursday, 15 December 2016

War declared on High Tackle

It's a hot topic right now, but I must say I'm pleased that World Rugby has taken the initiative and issued a new directive on high tackles, effective in the New Year.

A player making contact with an opponent's head in a reckless tackle (where the player knew or should have known that there was a risk of making contact with the head but did so anyway) will now receive at least a yellow card, even if the tackle starts below the shoulders. Accidental head contact - where e.g. the ball ball carrier slips into a tackle, will incur a penalty.

Undoubtedly the new approach will lead to some controversy and apparent injustices from time to time, but the aim underlying the new directive - to change the culture in rugby and ensure that the head is a "no-go area" -  has to be applauded, even if (dare I suggest) the motivation behind it may be World Rugby's fear of becoming the subject of an expensive lawsuit in the future.

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