Martin Devlin: Another delusional idea from World Rugby

Martin Devlin,
Publish Date
Friday, 9 August 2019, 2:54PM

Another day another dunderhead of an idea from World Rugby who've announced new tackling laws to be "trialled around the world in the coming years". The goal is to reduce the tackle height even further, dropping from the nipple line down to the waist or below.

The rationale is solid, inarguable in fact, being "head injury prevention strategy". But is this the right way, in terms of preserving and protecting the integrity of the sport, to go about it? Quite obviously the answer is no. Think about how this will, or rather won't, work in its most practical form.

If the target tackle line is waist or below, how to you physically make a stop within the laws of the game on players bound in a rolling maul driving low towards the line or on a player diving for a try in the corner?

On the surface it would appear nigh impossible and something, make that another thing, that only the TMO under intense frame by frame scrutinisation could possibly decide. Excellent.

So let's look forward to even more interminable in-game stoppages, ridiculous yellow & red cards  and unresolvable arguments about whether or not the hand/arm started below or drifted above the hipsway.

It is utter nonsense, in fact more nonsense from a bunch of overpaid administrators that month by month are proving they have little or no feel  for the sport they are charged with running.

Remember this is the exact same  crowd who earlier in the year saw their grandiose plans for a world league  scuppered by Northern Hemisphere selfishness.

Their inability to sell that billion dollar proposal to their own member nations was both a personal embarrassment and vote of no confidence in a bunch of fish-heads who've clearly lost their way and the support of those who employ them.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all in favour of whatever measures might improve the

game in making it safer for those who play. But let's not also forget that  rugby by definition is a contact sport. It's a bash, crash, smash game played by people who thrive on the physical collision.

And if you don't like that part of it, then go play touch. There will always be a risk playing rugby. Just like there will always be a risk of falling off your BMX. Sport, like life, is about weighing up all these factors and making judgement decisions based upon what you perceive to be the worst case scenario and how prepared you are to tempt fate.

To try and legislate for every unfortunate outcome is an utter nonsense. And perhaps the best reason yet why the stiff-arm should be immediately introduced as a compulsory for everyone still employed at World Rugby.