The various bodies of English rugby have asked the International Federation, World Rugby, to legislate on the high tack, which has spawned a growing number of concussions for several seasons.
English rugby is mobilized against concussions, according to The Telegraph. The Occupational Rugby Injury Surveillance Project, jointly managed by the English Rugby Federation, the Players’ Association and the English League, has formally submitted an application to World Rugby, the International Federation, to take measures to limit concussions. Their idea? Reduce the height of the tackles, which are primarily responsible for these injuries.
In support of this request, the group explained that the number of concussions has increased significantly in the last two years (15.8 concussions per 1000 hours of play in 2015-16 to 20.9 per 1000 hours of play in 2016-17) and that Injuries account for 22% of the ills identified during matches, 43% of which are for tacklers alone. Last January, at the meeting Racing-Clermont, the young Samuel Ezeala had left the field on K.-O. after a veneer of Virimi Vakatawa.
This season, World Rugby has implemented a series of measures to increase penalties on dangerous tackles to protect players. But the director of the medical service of the English Rugby Federation, Simon Kemp, is skeptical.
“To put it simply, we have to avoid head-to-head, head-to-knee, head-to-hip contact,”
Kemp explains in the Telegraph columns. We want the tackler to come into contact with the ball carrier of his size at his shoulder line. This change can be achieved in two ways: either by changing the regulatory height of the tackle, or by changing the behavior of players by increasing the penalty for tackling that results from contact with the head.
“We saw last year a World Rugby directive that increased the penalties for high tacking. We would like World Rugby to consider lowering the regulatory height of the plating below the shoulder line, because as it currently is, the margin of error is really small.”