'Time to act': Legend pleads World Rugby to change law after horror collision
By Rugby Onslaught

‘Time to act’: Legend pleads World Rugby to change law after horror collision

Massive strides have been made in recent years to make collisions safer in rugby, and there have been a lot of positive steps, but there is still a long way to go. That is why former France flanker Olivier Magne has begged World Rugby to make another law change.

The 89-cap international made this plea on Twitter on Thursday following Ireland U20’s win over Australia U20 at the World Championship. The moment in question was a head collision between both No7s, Ireland’s Ruadhán Quinn and Australia’s Ned Slack-Smith. What made this slightly different to usual collisions is that it was the ball carrier’s head that effectively initiated the contact.

Currently, it is the tackler that has a duty of care to make sure their body and head height is low enough to be safe when making a tackle, while the carrier does not have many responsibilities with regards to their head (they do with elbows, knees and forearms etc.). But in this situation at Paarl Gimnasium, it was Quinn, the ball carrier, who dipped his head straight into the head of Slack-Smith, resulting in both players having to leave the field injured late on.

The most important thing here is that both players are ok, but this should also lead to an opportunity to assess the laws of rugby. That is why Magne, and many others, have called for a law change that means the ball carrier can also be punished when they have change the level of their head to not only endanger themself, but their opponent too.

The Frenchman wrote on Twitter: “What are you waiting for World Rugby to sanction this kind of unacceptable attitude. It is time to act and prohibit direct confrontation when the attacking player has the possibility to chose a free space.” 

This was the carry in question: