LONDON: World Rugby have introduced a set of law amendments which will be trialled at various tournaments this year in a bid to improve player safety and reduce the risk of injuries, the governing body said yesterday.
The trials were approved for the four-year law amendment review cycle that began after the 2019 World Cup following an analysis by the Law Review Group last March and several unions expressed interest in operating one or more of the trials.
Preventing dangerous high tackles remains a high priority for World Rugby as they look to reduce the number of concussions.
The High Tackle Technique Warning, which was trialled at the World Rugby U20 Championship and reduced concussions by more than 50pc, will now be trialled in the Super Rugby championship which begins on January 31 and also the Top 14 in France.
“While the recent Rugby World Cup demonstrated a slight decrease in injury rates and a 30pc reduction in concussions owing to the implementation of evidence-based injury prevention programmes, we can and must do more to reduce injuries at all levels,” World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont said in a statement.
“We’ve already seen hugely encouraging initial outcomes and feedback from Australia’s National Rugby Championship and are delighted to have such a broad range of elite and community leagues running trials thanks to the support of our unions and regions.”
Reducing the tackle height to the waist is also part of the package of law amendments in a bid to reduce injuries to both the tackled player and tackler while also encouraging more offloads.
Teams will also have the opportunity to review yellow cards for players sent to the sin bin so that those guilty of dangerous foul play are rightly awarded a red card instead of a yellow.