Fewer players. That's the suggestion one English rugby writer has made in an effort to fix rugby's ongoing issues with head knocks.

Stade Francais academy player Nicolas Chauvin died earlier this month after breaking his neck in a tackle, which has seen French Rugby Federation president Bernard Laporte lead calls for changes to the game.

Chauvin, aged 19, was the third young player in France to die after a rugby game in the past five months.

Laporte wants the legal tackle height lowered to the waist, the banning of head-on-head contact and also has called for the drastic change of banning tackles by more than one player.


"Rugby must become a game of movement where avoidance overrides the impact. For this, it is important to change attitudes and change the rules, especially on tackling," the former France coach said.

"The FFR and the NRL [ Ligue National de Rugby] have therefore proposed to World Rugby an evolution of the rules by lowering the line of plating at the level of the belt, prohibiting the two-player tackle and tackle head-to-head.

"The tackler will have to bend if he comes to tackle, at the risk of being penalised. We have also proposed to World Rugby to experiment with these new rules on our amateur competitions."

In a column for the Daily Mail English writer Chris Foy has another suggestion which doesn't change the actual rules of rugby - instead just removes players.

"There is an answer. Reduce the number of players. Make it 12 versus 12. That would promote the value of exploiting space rather than capitalising on dominant physicality," Foy says.

"More running and fewer hammer hits which pose grave danger, meaning leaner, lighter physiques become the norm."

Reducing players obviously isn't new to the game. Sevens is now an Olympic sport while the Brisbane Global Tens, featuring predominately Super Rugby sides, has been run over the last two years.