Oldham boss Sean Long hails new tackle height law in rugby league as he makes ruck admission

OLDHAM head coach Sean Long has welcomed the news that a new tackle height will be brought in by 2025 in professional rugby league.

The new law, which will come into being for the amateur game in 2024, will see any tackle above the armpit to be classed as illegal.

And whilst a number of people have reacted angrily to the new law, Long believes that it can only be a good thing for the sport – especially with an increased ruck speed it will bring.

“It seems like we are going back old school to when I started. I started in 1994 and we were taught to tackle around the legs or get under the ball,” Long told League Express.

“For me it will be better because the ruck will get quicker. There will be two-man tackles rather than holding people up and those players kicking their legs out. I think Michael Maguire brought that in when he came over to Wigan and everyone followed suit. That slowed the game down.

“I think it will be a good thing to speed the game up. I’m all for it. It’s been too slow, you bend the rules as a coach and we do wrestle, jiu-jitsu to put players in locks where they can’t get up off the floor.

“I think where the NRL has gone lately in the past two years has really sped up the ruck. So, for me, I like playing quick. We train quicker than we play which will put us in good stead. It’s good.”

Long does believe that some players will have to adapt after years of playing the game a certain way.

“Some lads will have to get used to it, they have bent taught since they were kids about different tackle techniques but they have given us time instead of it just being a week or a month before the season.”

Click here to purchase a digital edition of League Express.

Click here to purchase an online edition of League Express through pocketmags.com.

Click here to listen to our new League Express Podcast.

League Express is widely available from local newsagents across the north of England.