Rugby Australia Implements Groundbreaking Tackle Height Law to Reduce Concussions at Community Level

Rugby Australia, like the Rugby Football Union, has announced a ban on tackles above the sternum across all levels of community rugby, effective from 2024 and for a two-year trial period. World Rugby has conducted extensive research on the impact of this rule change and found that it has led to a decrease in concussions and an increase in offloads in other countries, such as France and New Zealand. The decision has been reached in an effort to make the game safer and to encourage more young people to take up rugby. Although some have raised concerns about increased penalty counts and the potential difficulty for referees in enforcing these new rules, Rugby Australia’s CEO believes this change is in the best interests of the game. Critics, including former Wallabies Drew Mitchell and Berrick Barnes, have expressed doubts about the impact of these new laws on the game and on the ability of referees to officiate matches effectively. Nonetheless, Rugby Australia is committed to ensuring that decisions related to player safety are supported by research and evidence. These new rules will only apply to community rugby for now, with the possibility of extending them to the professional level in the future.