A senior rugby coach in Liverpool today issued a warning over the new controversial tackling laws set to be introduced.
The RFU confirmed the height of tackles must be reduced to targeting no higher than the waist, following France who implemented the same law for amateur rugby in 2019.
It’s aimed at improving player welfare and reducing serious injuries to the head.
All grassroots level players will now need to revise their tackle techniques to follow the new guidelines.
And Matt Kerr, head coach of Liverpool Collegiate RUFC Seniors, aired concern about whether the new laws are the right approach.
He told Merseysportlive: “Everyone understands there’s risks within the game, but again you have to think whether this will actually stop what they’re looking for it to stop.
“For me they should be looking at better tackling techniques, rather than lowering something which puts people’s heads closer to opposition’s knees.
“Rugby has always been about whatever shape or size you are there is a place for you.
“But this law will make the game a lot quicker as there will be more offloads all the time, which could mean that the slower, less fit or older athletes might really with these new rules.”
Highlighting the challenges for players, Kerr added: “Learned behaviour is really hard to adjust.
“When players have been doing it one way for 20 years, it’s very difficult to suddenly change that.”
The RFU says the law will apply only across all community levels, including clubs, schools, colleges and universities.
Elite level Premiership and Championship rugby will remain exempt from changes.
“When lads want to aim to play at both levels, they will have to be playing two different forms of the game,” added Kerr.
“It could make it really hard to transition.”
The Welsh Rugby Union issued its own official statement, saying no decision has been made, however they are in discussion with three other unions on the issue.
A difference in tackling laws between Wales and England is concerning some grassroots coaches.
Bangor University first team coach Ollie Coles said: “With a few boys going back to England to play on a weekend and potentially coming back to Wales on a Wednesday afternoon to play for us it’s going to be quite confusing.
“Hopefully, World Rugby can create a level playing field where everyone is playing the same laws.”
Ireland Captain Jonny Sexton, when asked his view at a Six Nations press conference, said: “I don’t agree with it.
“I see a hell of a lot of concussions from people getting their heads on the wrong side, a knee to the temple or a hip even to the side of the head so I strongly disagree.”
The controversial law is due to come into force on July 1.
The RFU have announced further clarification and training materials regarding the reform will be issued in the coming weeks.