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Highlights on Off The Ball


'It's a sh*t tackle!' | It is time to outlaw Owen Farrell's tackle technique

Owen Farrell's favoured stand-up tackle needs to be coached out of the game if World Rugby is serious about protecting players, says Keith Wood.

Owen Farrell's favoured stand-up tackle needs to be coached out of the game if World Rugby is serious about protecting players, according to former Ireland hooker Keith Wood.

The England captain received an on-field red card for a shoulder to head tackle on Taine Basham in their win over Wales on Saturday.

However, the decision, which was reached after the new bunker TMO system was put in place, was overturned on Tuesday, as a Six Nations appointed judiciary panel rescinded the red card.

The panel found that a 'late change in dynamics' due to Jamie George’s involvement in the contact area 'brought about a sudden and significant change in direction from the ball carrier'.

However, for Keith Wood, the mitigation should never have been sought, as the tackle technique that Farrell uses should be outlawed in it's entirety.

'It's a sh*t tackle!'

Speaking on Wednesday Night Rugby, Wood made his feelings on the tackle very clear.

"I don't think you can ascribe intention on the tackle," Wood said. "I think it's a sh*t tackle! It's the only way I can look at it.

"I've been interested to read that certain people [say] he has a good tackle technique. We've had some of this discussion in the past.

"The stand-up tackle, where there's no bend at the waist, is an incredibly effective tackle for dislodging the ball. It's an incredibly effective tackle for stopping the player. It can be great 95 times out of 100, but five times it can be awful.

"So, for me, that tackle is what needs to be banned. I can even leave Owen Farrell out of this situation entirely."

It needs to be coached out the game

Regardless of intention, Wood feels the technique itself leaves little room for adjusting to changes in a player's movement prior to contact being made, and therefore opens up far too much room for head collisions to be deemed a safe tackle.

"The idea that we are still having a stand-up, head to head tackle, or shoulder to head tackle, and trying to find reasons why that is actually okay, is what I want to actually get changed," Wood said. "I don't like it at all!

"The likelihood of that tackle is if there's any deviations at all, it can lead to head contact. We are talking about trying to make things safer, they're the conversations that are talked about.

"The swinging arm across the head is mostly gone, the clothesline is gone. A lot of the high tackles are gone. This is one that was coached quite a lot up to a few years ago. It is one that needs to be coached out of the game."

While Farrell's red card was rescinded by a Six Nations panel, reports suggest that he could still face a ban, as World Rugby have ben urged to appeal the decision prior to Ireland's World Cup warm-up game against England on Saturday.

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