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Published: 10:47 | 27/5/19

World Rugby unveil framework for high tackles


World Rugby has announced a new framework for the decision making for high tackles.

Designed as part of World Rugby's work to prevent concussion, the ‘decision-making framework for high tackles’ will become law at Test level immediately.

The framework aims to improve the consistency when distinguishing between dangerous tackles that warrant a penalty, yellow car of red card.

Research demonstrates that 76 per cent of concussions occur in the tackle, with 72 per cent of those to the tackler, and it is hoped the new framework will promote a safer technique.

World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “As a sport, we continue to put injury-prevention at the heart of all our decisions. The decision-making framework for high tackles reflects that commitment, providing a step-by-step guide for match officials with the express objective of reducing the risk of injury through tougher and more consistent sanctioning of high-risk tackle behaviour.

"We are on an important and bold journey that will take the commitment and support of everyone in the game. I would especially like to thank the competitions and unions for their full collaboration in this important process.”

World Rugby Committee Chairman John Jeffrey added: “This is an important player welfare and educational tool for the global game. The framework will benefit everyone in the game, not just match officials, and will set the standard that is expected from match officials when considering a high tackle or dangerous shoulder charge.”

Summary of tackle circumstances warranting range of sanctions

Red Card:

• Shoulder charge (no arms tackle) direct to the head or neck of the ball carrier, and mitigation is not applied

• High tackle with any contact between the tackler’s shoulder or head and the BC’s head or neck, with high degree of danger, and mitigation is not applied

• High tackle with first contact from the tackler’s arm, direct to the BC’s head or neck, with high degree of danger, and mitigation is not applied

Yellow Card:

• Any red card offence where mitigation is applied (as per framework)

• Shoulder charge to the body (no head or neck contact), with high degree of danger

• High tackle with any contact between the tackler’s shoulder or head and the BC’s head or neck, with low degree of danger, and mitigation is not applied

• High tackle with first contact from the tackler’s arm, direct to the BC’s head or neck with low degree of danger, and mitigation is not applied

• High tackle with first contact from the tackler’s arm, which starts elsewhere on the body and then slips or moves up to the BC’s head or neck, with high degree of danger, and mitigation is not applied

Penalty:

• Any yellow card offence where mitigation is applied (as per framework)

• Shoulder charge to the body (no head or neck contact), with low degree of danger

• High tackle with first contact from the tackler’s arm, which starts elsewhere on the body and then slips or moves up to the BC’s head or neck, with low degree of danger and no mitigating factors

• High tackle with first contact above or over the shoulder of the ball carrier, but without contact to the head or neck of the ball carrier during the execution of the tackle (seat belt tackle)

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