Tackle trial

Rugby World - - CONTENTS -


Yes. Low­er­ing the tackle line hope­fully re­duces the chances of head-to-head

or head-to-shoul­der con­tact. Many ar­gue there’s an in­creased risk of head

to knee, hip or el­bow by push­ing the tackle down. This is true but sta­tis­ti­cally the risk is not sig­nif­i­cant enough to re­move the va­lid­ity of the trial. It’s im­por­tant to un­der­stand that the trial could show us how to make the game safer

for all, not just the pros. Most pros un­der­stand the risks and have the strength

and phys­i­cal pres­ence to carry out mod­ern, pow­er­ful tackle tech­niques safely and have the med­i­cal back-up to man­age mis­takes. It’s a sad fact that many am­a­teur play­ers don’t.

For the “game’s go­ing soft” mob, any­one wor­ry­ing should look at the now in­fa­mous Josh Lewsey tackle on Mat Rogers. It was be­low the ribcage and as bru­tal as any chest-height tackle. It’s per­fectly le­gal un­der the trial law.

Sim­i­lar laws have been in use in French am­a­teur rugby for a good four to five years. I have coached and played un­der them. You still get big hits, but the risk of slid­ing up to

head height is greatly re­duced.

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