January 20, 2020 / 7:49 AM / a month ago

Rugby-High risk tacklers to be educated not punished - SANZAAR

WELLINGTON, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Repeat offenders identified as being ‘high risk’ of making dangerous tackles will not be sanctioned away from the field while Super Rugby trials a new law this season, governing body SANZAAR said on Monday.

World Rugby said last week that it would trial a suite of law amendments in several competitions this year in an effort to improve player safety.

The High Tackle Warning, which was trialled at the Under-20 World Championship last year, would be implemented in Super Rugby, which starts on Jan. 31.

Under the trial at the under-20 tournament, if a player received two warnings for high tackles they would be automatically banned for one match.

SANZAAR, however, said on Monday the trial would be used only for educational purposes this year, with repeat offenders given time to change their tackle technique.

“This process will not impose any sanctions on players,” SANZAAR said in a statement.

“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.”

SANZAAR would review every game to identify poor tackle technique and liaise with players and their coaches to try to change their behaviours.

World Rugby cracked down on high tackles last year in a bid to lower the risk of concussion and other head related injuries.

Several international players have retired from rugby in recent years due to concussion symptoms. (Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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