The Rugby Community Reacts With Disgust To England’s New Law On Tackling


The rugby community is speaking out against England Rugby's decision to limit the community game in England to waist-high tackles only from next season.

Irish international Johnny Sexton did not hold back when he was approached to comment at the launch of the 2023 Six Nations yesterday.

"I don’t agree with it, there is no point sitting on the fence, is there? I just think you have got tall people who play the game and it should be their decision how they tackle.'

“We do need to get the headshots out of the game but I think the tackles that we really need to take out of the game are reckless, out of control, sprinting out of the line, tucking arms, all these types of ones you know, hitting someone there I don’t think should be an option."

“And it is not like you can’t get concussed chopping someone’s knees. You know, I see a hell of a lot of concussions, people getting their head on the wrong side, a knee to the temple, or a hip even to the side of the head. So I strongly disagree.”

Ireland boss Farrell added: “It is super important that what has come with that is the correct coaching in the correct way, correct the technique because of the reasons that Johnny has just said."

“If you are just saying to a kid that you need to tackle lower, then you even become more vulnerable in my opinion you know, if you are just sitting there with just your arms in front trying to wrap and get the head down etc, you are a sitting duck waiting for a concussion to happen.

Former Test referee Nigel Owens added his voice against the decision and said it will make it extremely difficult for the referees.

“Most importantly there needs to be total clarity for the referees because it is a contact sport,” Owens told BBC Radio 5 Live. “It is going to be very difficult, I would think unless there is total clarity around this to have a shift in the behaviour to referee it.

“Anything that comes in to enhance player safety, because that is paramount in the game, it should be welcome. The only issue is there are a lot of questions around this by the players who play the game, ex-players and officials and everybody involved in the game. So there are a lot of questions around this at the moment which we are finding it difficult to get answers to.

“I don’t think people are signing a petition not wanting to make the game safe,” Owens added. “They are signing it because they want to know how this is going to better the game, how is it going to make the game safer.

“If the ball carrier is going to ground near the try-line, how are you going to be able to get below his waist to tackle him?

“How do you now set up a maul? Because the ball carrier is on his feet, the defenders wrap around him and you can’t join a maul below the waist.

“There are a lot of question marks and that is what needs to be addressed.”