World Rugby has launched the Head Contact Process(HCP) to assist the sanctioning process fr contact with the head and neck.
It has been a important aspect of the game for World Rugby to prevent head injury.
This process has bee developed with extensive consultation and collaboration with current and former players, coaches, referees and medical experts.
The HCP is an encouragement to change players behaviour positively and have a more consistent on and off the field sanctioning of high-risk tackles.
The scope for the HCP sanctions has boarded the consideration to include head and neck contact, including dangerous clean-outs, head-on-head collisions and head contact which arises from ball carriers leading with an elbow or forearm, in addition to high tackles and shoulder charges.
The HCP has been in operation in the Six Nations and across the elite competitions around the world and will now come into effect immediately at all levels of the game.
This will be supported by a sport-wide education process for players, coaches and match officials.
World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “The welfare of our players is – and has always been – our priority and I am passionate about ensuring our sport is the best it can be for everyone.
“The Head Contact Process reflects that collective commitment and builds on the solid foundations of the High Tackle Sanction Framework in its ambition to reduce the risk of injury by changing player behaviour.
“While there will inevitably be scrutiny as players, coaches and match officials get used to the process, we are implementing this progressive and protective measure because it is the right thing to do for players, whose representatives have actively contributed to the process.”
* The High Tackle Sanction Framework Review Group: Bernard Laporte (Chair), Conrad Smith and David Quinlan (IRP), Richie Gray, Dave Rennie and Gregor Townsend (coaches), Wayne Barnes and Jaco Peyper (referees), Christopher Quinlan QC and David Barnes (judicial and citing), Dr Martin Raftery and Professor Ross Tucker (medical and research), Alan Gilpin, Joe Schmidt, Mark Harrington, Dr Éanna Falvey, Joël Jutge, Paddy O’Brien, Yvonne Nolan, Steve Hinds, Rhys Jones and Dominic Rumbles (World Rugby).
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