Rugby Football League responds to RFU’s decision to controversially lower tackling height

THE Rugby Football League has responded to the RFU’s decision to reduce the tackling height law for the community game.

The 15-man code’s governing body rattled thousands of cages at the end of last week announcing plans to lower the tackle height in a bid to reduce head knocks and concussion.

That now means that tackles will be made at the waistline and below with the aim of a defender to put their heads in the safest possible place.

The ball carrier is also set to be given added responsibility by avoid late ‘dipping’ in the tackle so a bent tackler is no longer at risk of head-to-head contact with match officials focusing on both the ball carrier and tackler if head contact does occur.

Whilst rugby union fans were frustrated to say the least, rugby league supporters were keen to express their wish that such a ruling would not come into being in the 13-man code.

Now, the RFL has had their say following the news.

When asked by League Express, an RFL spokesperson said: “The RFL continues to work on a number of research projects relating to tackle height, in addition to other strands of research relating to head injuries and impacts. Our Regulations and Laws constantly reflect changes in medical and scientific knowledge.

“We have a good relationship with the RFU and work with them in many forums – but the two sports retain significant differences, so decisions relating to Rugby League must be based on research specific to Rugby League.

“Our scientific and medical teams will continue to provide advice that we will act on to ensure any changes prioritise the safety and welfare of players particularly when it comes to the issues relating to concussive/sub-concussive impacts. This includes working with other similar sports and also within Rugby League, with the NRL and IRL.”