A potential new rugby tackle law could have a big impact on the game.
World Rugby are considering introducing a rule to make players tackle below the waist in order to try and combat the problem of concussion in rugby.
Concussion has been one of the main talking points regarding the sport in recent times. Former Clermont Auvergne player Jamie Cudmore recently announced that he was suing the club for its treatment of him in still playing Cudmore while he was heavily concussed. Jonny Sexton and Luke Marshall are two players who have been the subject of much discussion regarding the issue in recent times - Marshall had four concussions in a year from 2013-2014 and Sexton was forced to take three months off the game in 2014 because of concussion worries.
The World Rugby Conference is ongoing at the moment and the Sydney Morning Herald quotes Martin Rafferty, the chief medical officer of World Rugby:
We looked at about 15 variables in the tackle, what causes the injuries, and one interesting one we found was that if people are bent at the waist, the ball carrier, you get fewer head injuries.
So we asked the experts: 'How can we get players to bend at the waist in the game?' And they've come up with some recommendations.
World Rugby have said these "recommendations" are set to be discussed over the course of the week.
One expert quoted in the piece is the senior scientist of New Zealand ruby, Ken Quarrie, who interestingly wants to see a trial of below-waist tackling "at junior levels", making the point that tackling below the chest is already in place at under-12 level in New Zealand.
If tackling above the waist were to be banned this would obviously have a huge effect on the way the tackle is conducted. One immediately thinks of the choke tackle, perfected by Les Kiss when he was the Ireland defence coach in the lead-up to the Rugby World Cup in 2011 and explained below by Brian O'Driscoll.
If it reduced concussions, though, few would dispute that the change is worth it.