Lowering The Tackle Height, Will It Work?

World Rugby has issued new tackle laws for the 2019/20 rugby season. The laws have been put into place to help prevent concussions in the game.

 

The governing body hopes that lowering the tackle height will lower the amount of head on head collisions.

 

The 2019 Rugby World Cup highlighted that these new laws could be the way forward.

The perfect tackle Photo: Dover Sharks RFC

Compared to 22 elite competitions in the 2018/19 season concussions were down by 35% and compared to the last World Cup they were down by 12%.

 

The number of injury replacements during a game has also taken a dip, in the 2015 RWC 2.08 replacements per match were happening whereas in the 2019 RWC this number was down to 1.13.

 

However, players are still getting used to the new laws. A good example of this occurred in the 2019 World Cup when Tomás Lavanini received a red card for a high tackle on Owen Farrell.

 

One man I spoke to about the tackle laws wishes they were in place when he was younger.

Toby Kicking
Photo: Charles Cartledge

Ealing Trailfinders Academy player Toby Disbury’s career was almost cut short 6 years ago when he clashed heads with another player.

 

He had this to say; “If the tackle laws were in place when I fractured my skull it would not have happened, head on head collisions are not good for anyone so if they can be eliminated from the sport it would be better for everyone”. 

 

Luckily for Toby brain scans and memory tests would help him continue his career.

 

“The road to recovery was tough, there was a point in time where I became a bit forgetful, I had to do memory training for quite some time and because of this, I didn’t have any lasting brain conditions”

Toby Disbury
Photo: Charles Cartledge

 

Toby has gone on to play for Brunel University’s first 15 on numerous occasions.