Wasps’ Dai Young claims officiating of high tackles is ‘a joke’

  • Officiating of high tackles in rugby is starting to become “a bit of a joke”, says Dai Young
  • In November officials clamped down on any contact with the head or neck area
  • Young’s comments came after Wasps debutant Kurtley Beale was shown a yellow card
Wasps director of rugby Dai Young says the officiating of high tackles in rugby “can’t go overboard” after Kurtley Beale was yellow carded on debut.

“Player welfare is huge and we are 100% behind that,” he told BBC Radio 5 live.

“But we have to decide whether we play touch rugby or contact.”


World Rugby’s rules on high tackles
“A player must not tackle (or try to tackle) an opponent above the line of the shoulders even if the tackle starts below the line of the shoulders. A tackle around the opponent’s neck or head is dangerous play.”
“Referees and citing commissioners should not make their decisions based on what they consider was the intention of the offending player. Their decision should be based on an objective assessment of the overall circumstances of the tackle.”

“There is no way that was a yellow card. It is starting to get a bit of a joke really.”

Beale was sent to the sin-bin despite Connacht’s Niyi Adeolokun ducking into the challenge.

“I don’t want to play down the player safety element, but we can’t go overboard with it,” added Young.

“Anything above the nipple area at the moment seems to be a yellow card, which is taking some things away from the game.”



Beale himself says players are conscious of the way the game is being officiated.

“They are cracking down on contact with the head, and obviously player welfare is extremely important in our game,” said the Australia international centre.

“There was no intent to make contact with the head, but I was a bit lazy there and he has great feet, and it didn’t go right for me. I am happy to cop it.”

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