‘Ban on tackling would have a huge impact’

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THE development of rugby players could be damaged by a ban on tackling, it has been warned.

Officials at Havant Rugby Club have been responding to a letter from more than 70 health experts which calls on the government to ban tackling in school rugby games.

They warn of a high risk of serious injury among under-18s and said schools should move to touch rugby and non-contact rugby.

Nigel Phillips, rugby development manager at Havant, said: ‘It’s going to have a huge impact.

‘If you talk to any of the guys and girls we coach, they want to get contact and get involved.

‘The two are never going to marry up if they bring this in. The reason behind it is probably longevity and preventing serious injuries. That’s got to be down to the coaching.’

He said the current system introduces tackling very slowly.

‘It’s very controlled and systematic with tackling where you start at ground level and work your way up,’ added Mr Phillips.

But signatory Professor Allyson Pollock said: ‘Children are being left exposed to serious and catastrophic risk of injury.’