Super Rugby to trial new high tackle law
NEWS: The “high tackle technique warning” will be trialled during Super Rugby this year as World Rugby aims to improve player safety.
There will also be other laws trialled at smaller tournaments around the world such as the “50:22 kick” in the Americas Rugby Championship and South Africa’s Varsity Cup.
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— World Rugby (@WorldRugby) January 13, 2020
In 2019, the World Rugby Executive Committee gave the go-ahead for several law trials designed to reduce injuries at all levels of the game.
The “high tackle technique warning”, which will be used in Super Rugby, was successfully trialled at the World Rugby Under-20 Championship for the last two years reducing the incidence of concussion by more than 50 percent, according to World Rugby.
It will also be trialled in France’s Top 14 and the Pro D2.
“A high-risk contact tackle technique warning issued to any player where the tackle is upright (i.e. not bent at the waist when tackling), and there is clear and obvious head contact for either player.
“The sanctions will be policed by both the match officials and the citing commissioner. When two high-risk tackle technique warnings have been issued, a player will automatically receive a one-match suspension.”
The other amendments to be trialled across the globe are:
– 50:22 kick: If the team in possession kicks the ball from inside their own half indirectly into touch inside their opponents’ 22 or from inside their own 22 into their opponents’ half, they will throw in to the resultant line- out Rationale: To create space via a tactical choice for players to drop back out of the defensive line in order to prevent their opponents from kicking for touch.
– Reducing the tackle height to the waist. Rationale: Forcing players to tackle lower may reduce the risk of head injuries to both the tackler and tackled player. It may also encourage more offloads and expansive play.
– Ability to review a yellow card when a player is in the sin-bin for dangerous foul play: Rationale: To ensure players who are guilty of serious foul play do not escape with a yellow card when they deserved red.
– The introduction of an infringement (penalty and free-kick) limit for teams. Once a team has reached the limit, a mandatory yellow card is given to the last offending player as a team sanction. Rationale: To encourage teams to offend less.
– The awarding of a goal-line drop-out to the defending team when an attacking player, who brings the ball into in-goal, is held up. Rationale: To reward good defence and promote a faster rate of play.
World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: “World Rugby is unwavering in its commitment to ensuring rugby is as simple and safe to play as possible for all. While the recent Rugby World Cup demonstrated a slight decrease in injury rates and a 30 per cent plus reduction in concussions owing to the implementation of evidence-based injury prevention programmes, we can and must do more to reduce injuries at all levels. This is an important milestone on that journey.
“We have already seen hugely encouraging initial outcomes and feedback from Australia’s National Rugby Championship and are delighted to have such a broad range of elite and community leagues running trials thanks to the support of our unions and regions.”
Additional source: NZ Herald
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