Tommy Bowe has revealed that Joe Schmidt has suggested that players shouldn’t be allowed to dip into tackles in order to avoid head contact.
The height at which players are allowed to tackle is currently a hot topic, as the English RFU recently announced that amateur players in the country must tackle at waist-height or lower from July 1st.
While the announcement has prompted considerable backlash, World Rugby are planning to lower the legal tackle height at elite level worldwide, although changes are not expected to come into force for several years.
Much of the onus has been placed on the tackler to make the game safer, although Tommy Bowe revealed on the BBC’s Ulster Rugby Show that former Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt believes ball carriers should also bear some responsibility.
Joe Schmidt’s suggestion to lessen the risk of head contact.
“I was chatting to Joe Schmidt about this recently, and he felt that another good option is that the attacking player can’t duck into the tackle,” Bowe explained.
“If you put the emphasis on the attacking player, they have to stay upright and it is very hard to get to someone’s head.
“You see the great minds of the game are trying to come up with different ideas. It’s the case of finding a solution that does eventually fit.”
15 minute warning ⏰
Watch The Ulster Rugby Show with @TommyBowe and @RoryBest2 🏉
📺💻 @BBCTwoNI & @BBCiPlayer#BBCRugby
— BBC SPORT NI (@BBCSPORTNI) January 26, 2023
Dipping into tackles significantly increases the chance of head contact.
Tacklers are often given no real choice but to make contact well above the waist when ball carriers bend so low before crashing into opposition defences.
There is a good reason for ball carriers doing this, as it is beneficial to maintain a low body height especially when picking and going from the base of a ruck, while it is also easier to win collisions by making contact with a defender with your upper body.
Removing such an aspect from the sport would considerably change the game, although it is difficult to see how tackling at waist-height or lower would be feasible without ball carriers agreeing to run into defenders upright.
Read More About: Joe Schmidt, Tommy Bowe