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New rugby tackle laws to be trialled

The law change will see the definition of a high tackle lowered from above the line of the shoulders to above the armpit line.

FILE: The Crusaders' Jordan Taufua runs with the ball past The Toyota Cheetahs' Ox Nche (L) during the SUPERXV rugby union match between The Cheetahs and The Crusaders at the Bloemfontein rugby stadium in Bloemfontein on 29 April 2017. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN – The Rugby Football Union (RFU) will trial a new tackle law aimed at lowering the rate of concussion and other injuries. The trial will take place in English rugby's second tier competition, the Champions Cup.

The law change will see the definition of a high tackle lowered from above the line of the shoulders to above the armpit line.

The RFU’s research indicated that 47% of all match injuries are related to the tackle. Furthermore, concussion accounted for 19% of all injuries to the ballcarrier and 43% of all injuries to the tackler.

The RFU said in a statement: "The trial aims to assess the impact of introducing a lower tackle height in elite adult rugby on the incidence of concussion and other injuries, player behaviour in the tackle, the nature of tackles, head injury events and other game events.

"All data will be shared with World Rugby to be added to research collected from a similar trial in the World Rugby Under-20 Trophy."