World Rugby use England star Owen Farrell's ugly hit as example of 'shoulder charge''

2019-06-11 16:58:31

World Rugby have used Owen Farrell's controversial tackle in a test against South Africa last year as an example of a 'shoulder charge' in a new video on the subject of tackle safety.

The Springboks were left angry and disappointed when Farrell's ugly hit on Andre Esterhuizen in the extra-time at Twickenham in early November went unpunished after it was ruled to be a fair tackle by referee Angus Gardner and TMO Olly Holmes.

With England ahead 12-11, Farrell put in what looked to be an illegal shot on the Springbok replacement player.

However it went unpunished with the officials saying it wasn't a shoulder charge as there were arms involved. England held on to win, much to the chagrin of the Springboks players and coach Rassie Erasmus.

The controversy around Farrell's ugly tackle lingered for several days, with a number of observers noting the England playmaker had a habit of not using his arms while leading with the shoulder in tackles.

It now appears World Rugby are officially deeming it to be a 'shoulder charge', according to the new video guide.

The law application guideline is designed to assist anyone involved in the sport, and with the on-field sanction decision-making process for high tackle and shoulder charges.

Research has found 76 per cent of concussions occur in the tackle, with 72 per cent of those to the tackler. The risk of head head injury is 4.2 times greater when tacklers are upright.

The 'decision-making framework for high tackles' was developed in partnership with union and competition delegates attending the player welfare symposium in France iand includes player, coach, match official and medic input.

The process focuses on the source of direct contact to the head, the degree of force and, for the first time, any mitigating or aggravating factors that may be applied by the match officials. It will be a useful tool for coaches, players, match officials, media and fans.

World Rugby Rugby Committee chairman John Jeffrey said: "This is an important player welfare and educational tool for the global game. The framework will benefit everyone in the game, not just match officials, and will set the standard that is expected from match officials when considering a high tackle or dangerous shoulder charge."

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