Mike Brown fears current rate of red cards could hamper grassroots rugby

  • Mike Brown fears New Year red-card craze will make rugby look far worse than it is
  • The fullback claims World Rugby’s new safety rules on head contact will leave parents worrying
  • New guidelines cracking down on contact with the head come into effect on January 3
England rugby star Mike Brown has warned World Rugby that the current rash of red cards could potentially put parents off letting their children play the game.

In the last two European weekends, nine players saw red and 51 yellow as officials clamped down on high tackles.

When World Rugby’s new guidelines come into play on January 3rd, even accidental clashes will be punished.

And the England full-back says rugby has to watch what it wishes for and the torrent of cards is painting the sport in a bad light.

“These rules and regulations are for our safety and player welfare is the most important thing,” he said.

“We need to be careful with showing our sport to be something it is not.

“If you’re a parent seeing all these red and yellow cards you might not want your children playing it. It’s not like that at all. There are some risks but it is the same in all walks of life.”

Brown lined up for Harlequins as they beat Gloucester at Twickenham yesterday and now joins up with England for boss Eddie Jones’ for the Aussies pre-Six Nations training camp.

Red Rose skipper Dylan Hartley will be part of the group despite his six-week ban for a  swinging-arm tackle on Leinster’s Sean O’Brien in the Champions Cup a few weeks ago.

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