Super Rugby

No sanctions for Super Rugby's new high tackle law

Toni Pulu of the Brumbies high-tackles Herschel Jantjies of the Stormers (Gallo Images)
Toni Pulu of the Brumbies high-tackles Herschel Jantjies of the Stormers (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - SANZAAR, the southern hemisphere's rugby governing body, will introduce a High Tackle Technique Warning system in this year's Super Rugby competition, but without sanctions imposed on transgressors.

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This comes after World Rugby, the global governing body, last week announced a set of law adjustments to be trialled at various tournaments this year in an attempt to improve player safety.

The high-tackle warning law is the only one to be trialled in Super Rugby, with warnings issued to players for high-risk tackle techniques by a tackle-technique review officer.

The expectation was that players would be suspended after two warnings, but in a statement released on Monday, SANZAAR said no sanctions would be imposed as part of the new law.

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"Preventing dangerous high tackles remains a high priority for SANZAAR and World Rugby as we look to reduce the number of concussions," the statement read. "Research has shown that the majority of concussions are caused by tacklers who tackle with an upright body. SANZAAR is focusing on implementing a process that identifies high-risk upright tackles.

"The shadow trial will see SANZAAR looking at all tackles each round and identifying tackles in which the tackler is in an upright body position, and in the event it is deemed the tackler has shown poor technique in executing an upright tackle, a warning may be sent to the player and player's coach. This process will be an educational process that will aim to educate players and coaches of high-risk behaviours by identifying poor tackle techniques and seeking to inform players of better choices they can make in the tackle zone.

"This process will not impose any sanctions on players. This is not designed to penalise the player in any way but to hopefully shine a light on poor technique that has been shown to increase the risk of significant injury and attempt to affect behavioural change via education and identification."

- Compiled by Herman Mostert

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