Christian Day: Rugby Players' Association chairman criticises tackling laws change

Christian Day
Christian Day has made 137 Premiership appearances for Northampton Saints since joining the club in 2008

Rugby Players' Association chairman Christian Day has criticised changes to rules over high tackles.

The new laws, which mean players making contact with the head in "reckless tackles" receive at least a yellow card, came into effect on 3 January.

The rules also mean penalties are given, even when contact is accidental.

"You've seen the issues we've had - players being sent off, games being changed as a result of clumsiness," Northampton lock Day, 33, said.

"These laws are coming in for our own welfare, our own safety, and as a player you've got to look at that with an open point of view and think someone's doing this to try to make the game as safe as possible.

"But to make such massive changes mid-season - with very little explanation, education and everything that should come with it - isn't a good idea."

In a statement Phil Winstanley, rugby director at Premiership Rugby, praised the changes as a "step forward" for the sport, while World Rugby has said the rules "ensure the head is a no-go area" for players.

Premiership Rugby also said the changes will be supported by a "global education programme".

"I don't think you're going to see players ducking into a tackle, looking to get a high tackle, I don't think that's possible to be honest," Day told BBC Radio Northampton's Saints Show.

"But certainly you're introducing this ideology to the players, that if you get hit towards the head you might just stay down an extra five seconds and make sure the ref has a think about that."

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