World Rugby has taken another step in trying to make the game safer for players, with new tackling laws among those set to be trialled around the world in the coming years.
In the proposed new laws, tackling would be limited to waist-height or lower, and referees will be able to warn players over the technique.
It was a proposal driven by to growing concern around player welfare, with tackling being the main cause of rugby-related injuries.
With the amount of time the ball is in play having increased dramatically over the years as teams have trended towards running rugby, the need for players to make tackles has followed suit. According to World Rugby, tackling is the cause of 50 per cent of all injuries in the sport, and 76 per cent of all concussions.
"World Rugby is unwavering in its commitment to ensuring rugby is as simple and safe to play as possible for all," World Rugby chairperson Sir Bill Beaumont said.
"While injury incidence in the sport is not increasing and concussion incidence is decreasing, we can and must do more to reduce injuries at all levels. This is an important milestone on that journey."
The change was one of six proposed new laws that will be trialled by World Rugby and, if successful, will be implemented before the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.
Trials will also be held for a 50:22 kicking rule, where if a team kicks from inside their own half indirectly into touch inside their opponents' 22, or from inside their own 22 into their opponents' half, they will get to throw the lineout.
The 50:22 proposal has been approved for closed trials in Australia's National Rugby Championship.
Penalty and infringement limits, sin bin or yellow card reviews and goal-line drop-outs will also be trialled.
Proposed law changes to be trialled by World Rugby
50:22 kick: If a team kicks from inside their own half indirectly into touch inside their opponents' 22, or from inside their own 22 into their opponents' half, they will get to throw the lineout. Rationale: To create space by forcing players to drop back out of the defensive line in order to prevent their opponents from kicking for touch. Approved for closed trial in the National Rugby Championship in Australia.
The High Tackle Technique Warning: This has been successfully trialled at the World Rugby Under-20 Championship for the last two years reducing the incidence of concussion by more than 50 per cent. Rationale: Head Injury prevention strategy. Approved for further closed trials.
Reducing tackle height: Tackles will be limited to waist height or below. Rationale: Forcing players to tackle lower may reduce the risk of head injuries to both the tackler and tackled player. Approved for closed trials.
Foul play review: Play can be reviewed by a player is shown a yellow card. Rationale: To ensure players who are guilty of serious foul play do not escape with a yellow card when they deserved red. Approved for closed trials.
Infringement (penalty and free-kick) limits: Once a team has reached the limit, a mandatory yellow card is given to the last offending player as a team sanction. Rationale: To encourage teams to offend less. Approved for closed trial in the National Rugby Championship in Australia.
Goal-line drop-out: Will be awarded to the defending team when an attacking player, who brings the ball into in-goal, is held up. Rationale: To reward good defence and promote a faster rate of play. Approved for closed trial in the National Rugby Championship in Australia.