STATEMENT: IRFU Confirm 'Opt-in' to World Rugby's Tackle Height Trial - Ruck

STATEMENT: IRFU Confirm ‘Opt-in’ to World Rugby’s Tackle Height Trial

The IRFU have confirmed that they are going to opt-in to an upcoming tackle height trail, which sees the tackle height lowered to below the sternum for the community game.

Ireland’s Governing Rugby Body agreed to opt-in, after a vote taken by the IRFU Rugby Committee.

The IRFU put out a statement to confirm their inclusion in the tackling trial on the official Ireland Rugby website.

“The IRFU Union Committee have formally voted to opt into World Rugby’s global trial to lower the tackle height in the community game to below the line of the sternum.

Iain Henderson of ireland is tackled by Noa Nakaitaci of France during the Rugby World Cup Pool D, Match 39, between Ireland and France at the Millennium Stadium, on October 11th 2015 in Cardiff, UK. – Photo mandatory by-line: Dean Lancaster/Pinnacle – Tel: +44(0)1363 881025 – Mobile:0797 1270 681 – VAT Reg No: 183700120 – 11/10/2015 – SPORT – RUGBY UNION – RUGBY WORLD CUP 2015 – POOL D Match 39 – France v Ireland – Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales.

“It follows an earlier vote by the IRFU Rugby Committee and an extensive community consultation process with Irish Rugby stakeholders.

“The trial will apply to all amateur IRFU and provincial competitions at age-grade and adult levels in clubs and schools for the 2023/24 and 2024/25 seasons.

“New World Rugby and laboratory studies have shown that head injury risk is at its highest when tackles are made to the head and shoulder and lowest when tackles are made to the belly area.

“The purpose of this trial will be to incentivise greater use of the belly tackle and ultimately reduce incidents of head-on-head impact in the tackle.”

IRFU Rugby Development Director Colin McEntee commented:

“Based on the findings of the community consultation process, there is a critical mass of stakeholders who are clearly open to change for the good of the game.”

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who engaged with us throughout – the constructive feedback we received on both sides of the argument has shaped how we’ll be implementing the trial and supporting everyone in making it a success for the future of our sport.”

CARDIFF, WALES – OCTOBER 11: Iain Henderson of Ireland is tackled by Bernard Le Roux of France during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool D match between France and Ireland at Millennium Stadium on October 11, 2015 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

“The trial itself won’t present any significant changes to how we coach the tackle – it’s only the matter of a few centimetres.

“But it is a significant element of a wider drive to improve tackle behaviours.

“From next week, players, coaches and match officials can look forward to a new suite of resources being rolled out across the summer.”