Player safety to take top billing at World Rugby summit in Paris

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Player safety to take top billing at World Rugby summit in Paris as chiefs meet to discuss possible rule changes

  • Governing body World Rugby will host a summit in Paris on March 18-20
  • Global chiefs will meet to thrash out ways to improve the game and alter laws
  • Player safety is top of the agenda, with lowering tackle height to be discussed
  • Paris meetings look to aid the sport’s ‘quest for attractiveness and simplicity’

Press Association Reporter

Global rugby chiefs will meet to thrash out ways to alter the game’s laws to improve player safety.

Governing body World Rugby will host a three-day summit in Paris this month to plot possible rule changes for the four years following World Cup 2019.

Lowering the tackle height will be on the agenda, as the March 18-20 meetings look to aid the sport’s ‘quest for attractiveness and simplicity’.

A World Rugby summit in Paris later this month will discuss lowering the tackle height

A World Rugby summit in Paris later this month will discuss lowering the tackle height

A World Rugby summit in Paris later this month will discuss lowering the tackle height

England’s Championship trialled a lower tackle height earlier this season, but that venture was halted due to an unexpected rise in concussion risk.

‘Since being elected in 2016, I have been unwavering in my commitment to ensure that the sport is as simple, safe and fun to play as possible,’ said World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont.

‘Strong progress has been made in the stabilisation of injury rates, particularly the incidence of serious injury.

‘These advances can be attributed to an evidence-based injury management approach in the form of scrum law change, the introduction of tournament player welfare standards, the implementation of the Head Injury Assessment process, the clamp-down on dangerous tackles and attitudinal changes towards concussion.

‘However, we must and do strive to do more.

‘With the foundations of good player welfare injury management processes in place, we are now firmly focused on injury-prevention and with a new four-year law review cycle beginning it is appropriate that we address the big questions – how to ensure the sport is as safe as possible while ensuring the game continues to attract a new generation of rugby fans and participants.

World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont will head up the three-day summit in Paris next week

World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont will head up the three-day summit in Paris next week

World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont will head up the three-day summit in Paris next week

‘I would like to thank the rugby family for their full commitment and look forward to constructive and productive discussion in our drive to make our sport the best it can be for players and fans.’

The Shaping A Safer Game symposium will convene leading experts across all fields of rugby, hosted by the French Rugby Federation (FFR).

‘The safety of players is the priority for all of us and this meeting of leading experts to examine and further our injury-prevention strategies reflects our collective and unwavering commitment,’ said FFR president Bernard Laporte.

‘The FFR is honoured to welcome area experts who will exchange and debate on rugby, its evolution, its rules and the way the practice must evolve. This is an important meeting for the future of our sport.’

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