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RFU Apologise After Severe Criticism Over 'Misunderstood' New Tackle Laws

RFU Apologise After Severe Criticism Over 'Misunderstood' New Tackle Laws
Colman Stanley
By Colman Stanley
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The RFU have been forced to apologise following their decision to implement a new law, which will see the tackle height in England reduced to 'waist' height from next July.

The move has been roundly criticised by players and coaches - including the like of Rory Best, Tommy Bowe, and Sonny Bill Williams.

In light of this, the RFU have issued an apology statement, where they claimed that the new laws had been misinterpreted.

We fully acknowledge we got the engagement wrong, and we are truly sorry.

In making our decision we were aware that France have lowered the tackle height, New Zealand will be doing so and World Rugby supports this approach

We, like the French, used the term "waist and below"; this has caused misunderstanding and confusion.

We would now like the game to help us define how we describe a lower tackle height to reflect what the research is telling us in a way that is understood by all.

Consequently, the risk of head injuries should be reduced if tackling below that optimum height. We will now begin a series of forums and workshops with players, coaches, match officials and volunteers, to explain and develop the details of the domestic law variation.

Sonny Bill Williams Speaks Out Against RFU Tackle Laws


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Sonny Bill Williams highlighted some of the pitfalls of the new laws in a recent tweet, stating that his worst concussion came from a tackle around the legs.


"The Worst concussion i had in a 20 year career was from a low “textbook” tackle - the reason everyone (like me) is so confused by these rumoured law changes is because the logic isn’t being shared with us. Can anyone share the science behind these decisions?"

Rory Best has come out and said that "I think they need to be really careful of forcing people down; for the safety of the tackler, but also for the game itself."

While Tommy Bowe added that when tackling low, "it is easy to get a knee in the head."

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