World Rugby won’t lower tackle heights in elite game until 2027 at the earliest
Elite rugby will not see any tackle-height reduction until after the 2027 World Cup.
Any reduction in tackle-height limits at professional level remains years from implementation, World Rugby sources have told Standard Sport.
Global rugby chiefs expect further community game tackle-height trials around the world, as the sport wrestles with player safety and retaining participation numbers.
Governing body World Rugby has no plans in place to launch a consultation on elite game tackle-height reduction now, but accepts that it is likely to happen in the coming years.
The RFU’s decision to reduce tackle-height limits to the waist in all levels below professionalism from next season has left the English amateur game in uproar.
An online petition against the move has now gained more than 75,000 signatures, with the RFU board now expected to review its decision to lower tackle heights.
World Rugby will support community game trials of lowered tackle heights across the globe, but will wait for outcomes before committing to a specific plan for the elite game.
Individual competition trials would precede a global law trial of any tackle-height reduction, leaving the cycle following the 2027 World Cup as the earliest chance for an elite-level change.