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World Rugby to assemble working group to deliberate breakdown rules

Jaco Peyper

World Rugby are to take a serious look at how the current function of rucks can contribute to injuries, as part of its annual player welfare and laws symposium.

A forum comprising referees, coaches and players will meet in Paris next week as part of a wider group of experts looking at how World Rugby can trial new laws aimed at reducing injury.

The governing body revealed nine per cent of injuries suffered in matches are a direct result of the breakdown, an issue many within the game have growing concerns about.

World Rugby chairman, Bill Beaumont said: “The sport is unified in its commitment to ensure that rugby is as safe, simple and enjoyable to play for all.

“As a sport, I believe that we are leaders and strong progress has been made in recent years to reduce injury rates, specifically in concussion, via an evidence-based approach.

“The inaugural player welfare and laws symposium was certainly the catalyst for a breakthrough injury-prevention year in 2019, culminating in a 28 per cent reduction in concussion incidence at Rugby World Cup 2019 compared to the average from 22 elite competitions in 2018.

“We also launched the Activate injury-prevention exercise programme, launched a package of injury-prevention focused law trials, while our High Tackle Sanction Framework is proving pivotal in changing player behaviour from high-risk upright tackles to reduced risk lower height tackles, which is encouraging.”

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