Leicester Tigers Director of Rugby Geordan Murphy has said that he regrets the comments he made in the aftermath of Sunday's defeat to London Wasps, during which he claimed 'the game's gone too PC'.
Murphy was reacting to a red card handed out to Will Spencer, who was sent off for a high tackle. His comments were widely condemned by many in the world of rugby, as they seemed to show a lack of regard for player safety.
🗣 "We have a responsibility to tackle low."
"He's 6 foot 7!"
🗣 "We have to protect the players. It's a red card."
"Rugby's changed! Rugby's changed!"
Will Spencer was shown a red card for a high tackle, but not everybody agrees...
We haven't heard the last of this one 👀 pic.twitter.com/ynedwRAflU
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) September 16, 2018
The former Ireland fullback says that he now regrets that he said, while also labelling the incident as a potential 'watershed' moment for the sport.
In heat of the moment, and as a young head coach with no experience of that (TV interview) situation, I shot my mouth a little bit when I needed to sit back and absorb a few things.
It might seem that I was taking a head injury lightly and that is not me in any way. Nor is it as a club at Leicester. We are united and want to be best with head injuries. Stats will show that.
We were top side last season for immediate removals. We had nine in the Premiership. Some other teams had none. We took 20 guys off for SCAT testing and only two returned which is 10 percent when the average is 50 percent. As a coach, I preach looking after players. Their safety is paramount. We do not put guys back out if there is any risk.
I felt that my comments might have belittled the laws and that was not my intention. We all have to accept bigger picture. Rugby has changed and for the better. It could well be a watershed moment.
The tackling laws have become much stricter in rugby in recent years, with an emphasis placed on high challenges as the authorities attempt to minimise head injuries in the game.
While there has been a period of adjustment for the players as they attempt to ensure they stay within the new laws, most agree that the changes were required. As those on the pitch become more comfortable within the new rule set, expect to see fewer incidents such as this in the future.