Law variations approved to lower tackle height in community Rugby Union in England..

Following an RFU Council decision (in January) to lower the tackle height in community rugby to improve player safety by reducing the risk of head-on-head contact and concussion, the RFU has undertaken extensive consultation to listen to feedback on how to best define and implement the law variations.

The consultation heard a wide range of views and gathered thoughts and ideas from 8,500 people through an online open survey, the RFU also met with over 1000 people during 25 in-person and virtual forums across 13 locations and met 270 coaches, players, match officials, disciplinary officers, Club chairs and CBs, parents and teachers through 22 focus groups and online panels.

The open survey was independently analysed by the research company YouGov and this feedback was presented to the RFU Council who today (21 April) voted to adopt the law changes with the new tackle height level from 1 July being defined as below the base of the sternum.

To read more about the findings of the consultation and the law changes, please click the link below.

I would like to thank everyone who contributed to this consultation and to say thank you in advance to the wider rugby family who will be vital to ensuring we implement this change successfully. We along with many other Unions across the world are lowering the tackle height to reduce the risk of concussion. We know change is challenging however, it is imperative that we are guided by the science to help make the game safer for our players. As part of our ongoing injury surveillance studies, we will monitor the impact of this law variation and would encourage as many clubs as possible to sign up to participate in CRISP by contributing their data it will enable us to continue to monitor and introduce injury prevention strategies.

Nigel Gillingham,
RFU President

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