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Rugby union’s new tackle laws: what are they and will they make a difference? | Michael Aylwin

World Rugby’s new directives for punishing high tackles come into effect this weekend, but in truth they have left it up to coaches and players to figure out for themselves how to adapt

To call it a law change is the first disingenuous step from World Rugby. This is actually a ramping up of punishment for an existing offence. The threshold for a high tackle remains the line of the shoulders. World Rugby has instituted two new categories for a high tackle – “reckless” and “accidental” – together with rhetoric that tries to define each. But a high tackle remains a high tackle, and both the reckless and accidental manifestations have long been penalised.

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