The Rugby Football Union have halted the trial of a new tackle height law following a number of concussions in the experiment. Matches in the Championship Cup were subject to new rules whereby players were not allowed to tackle above the armpit, as opposed to the current law which allows them to tackle up to the shoulders.
However, more concussion incidents were reported among players who were tackling opponents that had their waists bent carrying the ball.
The rules will revert to shoulder height when the knockout stages of the competition get back underway next month.
While the new ruling did lower the number of tackles by 25%, the powers that be have decided to end the process early. “We need to analyse the data in more detail, but our preliminary analysis has shown all of these incidents occurred when a bent-at-the-waist tackler was attempting to tackle a bent-at-the-waist ball carrier following a short pass from the scrum half,” said RFU interim chief executive Nigel Melville.
“This is an area that the trial was not specifically looking to influence, as the primary focus was to reduce the risk of concussion where ball carrier and tackler were both upright.”