RFU will respond to criticism by offering “clarity” on revised tackle legislation in the ensuing weeks.

In response to concerns of a widespread player exodus, the Rugby Football Union said it will soon offer “clarity for the game” regarding the radical new tackle laws.

For all levels, with the exception of the Premiership and Championship, the tackle height will be decreased to the waist as of the upcoming season.

The RFU promises to send “clear guidelines” to referees, coaches, and players.

A union official stated, “We recognize this is a huge adjustment.

Many clubs, players, coaches, and officials, however, have voiced their worries to the BBC, calling the legislation change unrealistic, bemoaning the lack of input, and expressing anxiety over a mass exodus of players from the sport.

Fifth-tier English rugby club Manchester Rugby Club claims they have “serious fears” that the change will “destroy playing numbers for next year.”

The reaction from his squad members, according to Sam Williams, captain of Wasps FC, the amateur division of the former professional team Wasps, has been “overwhelmingly negative, with most suggesting it will change their commitment to playing or make them retire/change sports completely.”

In the meantime, a petition urging the RFU to change its mind has gathered more than 30,000 signatures in just over 24 hours.

The petition’s creator, Ed Bartlett, a player with Old Reigatian RFC in the level-six Regional South East 2, claimed that lowering the tackle height to below the waist would turn the match into a ridiculous spectacle to behold.


No one is being forced to play rugby union, but I entirely understand the need to make the game safer and, whenever possible, minimize head-on collisions.

With the higher tackle height going into effect on July 1st, there is also concern about the burden the rule change will put on volunteer coaches and officials.

Dickon Moon, the long-time director of rugby at level-six London Cornish, remarked, “The implementation of it leaves the grassroots game way too little time to respond.”

How, given that we only practice once a week and must also use pre-season to get players fit, am I supposed to retrain our roughly 100 players in time for the new season?

The RFU asserts that its decision was made after six years of research and that there is compelling data to support the claim that lowering tackle height lowers the likelihood of “head acceleration occurrences.”

It has also drawn inspiration from a French study that was effective but only applied to the bottom six tiers.

The RFU has promised to offer a “multi-format program of training and technical support” to help players, coaches, and match officials get ready for the new legislation.

An RFU representative continued: “We are aware that this is a big shift, and there will be concerns in the game about the specifics of the new law variation, what it implies for coaches and players, and how the tackle will be called throughout various parts of the game.

“In the upcoming weeks, players, coaches, and match officials will receive comprehensive law application guidelines and training materials to help them understand the rules of the game.

The purpose of making this choice now is to allow the game time to be ready for the upcoming season.

“Rugby is not a sport of evasion.”
Although the professional game in England is unaffected by the legal change, some of the biggest names in the game have voiced their opposition to the proposals.

Sonny Bill Williams, a former New Zealand international, stated on social media that rugby is not a “evasion sport.”

“Rugby is about manipulating and shifting defenses to create space; contact is part of the game.”

Mike Phillips, a former player for Wales and the Lions, further stated that players should anticipate “more red and yellow cards” that will “wreck the game.”

Joe Marler of Harlequins used the emoji “mind-blown” to show his dissatisfaction, and Lewis Ludlow of Gloucester predicted that the community game would result in “through-the-roof” concussions.

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