Low tackle on trial in New Zealand

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Low tackle on trial in New Zealand

New Zealand is stepping up a gear in its fight against concussions. On Tuesday, the Kiwi Federation (NZR) decided to trial a new rule limiting the height of tackles across all of its amateur rugby in 2023, to limit the risk of head impacts.

From now on, the first tackler will have to intervene below the sternum, the bone which connects the ribs to the center of the chest. The second tackler will still be able to intervene below the shoulders as today.

“The game is more enjoyable and safer when the height of the tackle is lowered below the sternum”

Steve Lancaster, NZR Amateur Rugby Managing Director

The low tackle rule was tested last season in some local competitions. “The main feedback we received from these experiments is that the game is more pleasant to play and safer when the height of the tackle is lowered below the sternum, that is to say at the level of the belly. »said Steve Lancaster, general manager of NZR amateur rugby.

This decision comes amid growing concern over head injuries. A group of nearly 200 former professional rugby players have lodged a complaint against the International Federation, the English and Welsh FAs, claiming that the governing bodies have failed to take the necessary measures to protect players from brain damage caused by beatings head repeated.

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