Ever since World Rugby announced new rules for high tackles to be treated more strictly as from January 3rd there has been an outpouring of anger from pundits and on social media.
This will ‘ruin the game’ and ‘it’s just touch rugby now’ are common –
Three things – firstly I think the rules don’t go far enough (see ‘earlier post ‘Scorched Pitch’), secondly of course there will be draconian action on head tackles – especially in the first season. Lastly these were largely the same voices that were ‘outraged’ at Dylan Hartley’s tackle – one even calling for him to be ‘banned for life’.
Mistakes will be made and yes – games potentially ruined. But after that the coaches and players will adjust and I believe that head high tackles will be vastly reduced.
Would that be worth it? Definitely in my view – it reminds me of an old American press ad for the most expensive tyre on the market –
‘The $100 tyre – if it only saves your life once it’s a bargain’
If anyone needs to understand just what the effects of constant head hits – rent the dvd ‘Concussion’
Then tell me that it’s okay not to police head high tackles.