Australia: World Rugby’s tackle height trial receives green light from Rugby Australia
Rugby Australia have given the green light to World Rugby’s global law trial of lowering the legal tackle height from below the line of the shoulders to the sternum at community level.
World Rugby announced on Monday that its council will hold a vote in May to decide on the implementation of an opt-in trial for national unions.
Global trials will be supported by a comprehensive roadmap of World Rugby-developed education and resources that will back its implementation locally.
Rugby Australia said it will work with its member unions to identify tournaments to trial the proposed tackle height law, as well as appointing an appropriate research partner to collect and analyse data.
“As part of the trial, Rugby Australia will undertake broad community consultation to gather feedback from players, coaches, match officials, teachers, parents, administrators and medical professionals to ensure their perspective is considered in any future decisions on tackle height in the community game,” said Rugby Australia CEO Andy Marinos.
“Additionally, Rugby Australia and member unions will continue to emphasise the importance of correct tackle technique and understanding of the laws of the game through its relevant education and training programmes.”
Contributing to global bank of research
Rugby Australia is involved in numerous research projects with regards to tackle height and concussion and contributing to the global bank of research.
One such project includes a Queensland University of Technology study using 360-degree cameras and Artificial Intelligence programming to determine whether there is any link between tackle height and reported concussions.
Marinos highlighted that player safety will always be the most important factor of rugby at all levels.
“We will continue to ensure that any decisions impacting the game are informed by research and evidence that prioritise player safety and welfare,” he said.
Rugby Australia will communicate further on its plans for a trial as developments occur.
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