Rugby: Proposed new waist-down tackling laws slammed for changing nature of game

Proposed new tackle laws have raised growing concerns over what our national game may look like in the future, if introduced fulltime.

Last week, England's RFU announced it will lower the tackle height to the waist at amateur level next season.

Ireland international captain Jonny Sexton has slammed the decision, while former All Black Ant Strachan believes the sport itself would change, should the laws be introduced here.

The Six Nations launch was supposed to be all about the international game, but it became about the grassroots.

"I don't agree with it," said Sexton. "There's no point sitting on the fence really, is there? 

"I think the tackles we really need to take out of the game are the reckless, out-of-control, sprinting out of the line, tucking arms... all these ones."

This year, NZ Rugby will bring in their own new tackle laws, focussing on nothing above the sternum.

Former All Blacks halfback Strachan, who now coaches club rugby, understands why, but wouldn't be keen, if the tackle line was lowered to the waist.

Andy Farrell and Jonny Sexton at Six Nations launch
Andy Farrell and Jonny Sexton at Six Nations launch. Photo credit: Getty Images

"Only because these law changes do need some transitional time," he told Newshub.

"[The game] will look different. I think offensively, it could be anything."

Sexton's national coach, Andy Farrell, believes better coaching is part of the solution.

"If you're just sitting there with your arms in front, trying to wrap, with your head down etc, then you're a sitting duck waiting to happen," he said.

And no-one wants to see that.