Scottish Rugby is to consult clubs on tackle height being lowered in the community game

Scottish Rugby is consulting with the community game on lowering the tackle height in a bid to make the sport safer.
Clubs in Scotland are to be consulted on tackle height.Clubs in Scotland are to be consulted on tackle height.
Clubs in Scotland are to be consulted on tackle height.

It is a contentious issue. Last month, the Rugby Football Union sparked a furious backlash when it announced that tackles must be made from the waist down in the English community game from next season. The decision was met by fierce opposition. Johnny Sexton, the Ireland captain, was among those who spoke out, suggesting tall people might be more at risk from injury. An online petition urging the RFU to reconsider was signed by more than 75,000. The sudden nature of the announcement, plus the lack of consultation, caused anger and the RFU apologised and agreed to consult clubs.

Scottish Rugby is consulting first but is keen for tackle height to be lowered, citing World Rugby-endorsed trials in France and South Africa where lowering the tackle height has been shown to reduce the number of head-on-head contacts and concussions. Clubs, schools and societies were notified on Tuesday and a series of “consultative webinars” will be held from next week.

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Keith Wallace, chairman of Scottish Rugby’s club rugby board, said: “It is important that as custodians for the community game, we continue to look at ways we can make our game as safe and enjoyable as possible.” Gavin Scott, director of rugby development, added: “This period of consultation will not only be of benefit to those involved in our clubs, schools and societies, it will also help Scottish Rugby better understand what we need to do to help prepare our players, coaches and match officials, should any changes be implemented for next season.”



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