Rugby World Cup 2019: New trial to test waist-height tackles

World Rugby has announced new tackling restrictions will be trialled to make the game safer for players.

The tackling restriction is one of six law amendments that have been approved for closed trials by World Rugby's executive committee. It follows detailed work by a World Rugby law review group.

This includes reducing tackle height to the waist and high tackle technique warnings - which has operated at the last two World Rugby Under-20 Championships.

World Rugby is desperate to make the game safer following a recent study which concluded that 50 percent of injuries and 76 percent of concussions occurred in tackles.

Depending on the success of the trials, some of the new rules could be in place by the 2023 World Cup.

"World Rugby is unwavering in its commitment to ensuring rugby is as simple and safe to play as possible for all," World Rugby chairperson Sir Bill Beaumont said.

"While injury incidence in the sport is not increasing and concussion incidence is decreasing, we can and must do more to reduce injuries at all levels. This is an important milestone on that journey."

Rugby World Cup 2019: New trial to test waist-height tackles

Federations in Australia, France, Georgia, Fiji, Romania and South Africa and have shown interested in implementing some of the experimental laws package in their domestic tournaments. 

Proposed law changes


50:22 kick: If the team in possession kicks the ball from inside their own half indirectly into touch inside their opponents' 22 or from inside their own 22 into their opponents' half, they will throw in to the resultant lineout.

The high tackle technique warning: Successfully trialled at the World Rugby U20 Championship for the last two years reducing the incidence of concussion by more than 50 percent.

Yellow card review: When a player is in the sin-bin for dangerous foul play to ensure players who are guilty of serious foul play do not escape with a yellow card rather than red.

Penalty limit before sin-binning: The introduction of an infringement (penalty and free-kick) limit for teams. Once a team has reached the limit, a mandatory yellow card is given to the last offending player as a team sanction.

Goal-line drop-out: The awarding of a goal-line drop-out to the defending team when an attacking player, who brings the ball into in-goal, is held up.


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