Rugby Australia has confirmed its intention to work with World Rugby on a global law trial reducing the legal height of the tackle from below the line of the shoulders to the sternum at Community level.
This follows World Rugby’s announcement today that the World Rugby Council will vote in May to implement an opt-in trial for National Unions.
Global trials will be backed by a comprehensive roadmap of World Rugby-developed education and resources that will support its implementation locally.
Rugby Australia will work with its Member Unions to identify competitions to trial the proposed tackle height law, as well as appointing a suitable research partner to collect and analyse data.
“As part of the trial, Rugby Australia will undertake broad community consultation to gather feedback from players, coaches, match officials, teachers, parents, administrators and medical professionals to ensure their perspective is considered in any future decisions on tackle height in the community game,” said Rugby Australia CEO Andy Marinos.
“Additionally, Rugby Australia and Member Unions will continue to emphasise the importance of correct tackle technique and understanding of the laws of the game through its relevant education and training programs.”
Rugby Australia is involved in a number of research projects regarding tackle height and concussion, and contributing to the global bank of research.
One such project includes a Queensland University of Technology study using 360-degree cameras and AI programming to determine whether there is any correlation between tackle height and reported concussions.
Andy Marinos highlighted that participant safety will always be the most important factor of the game at all levels.
“We will continue to ensure that any decisions impacting the game are informed by research and evidence that prioritise player safety and welfare.”
Rugby Australia will communicate further on its plans for a trial as developments occur.