Academics urge for removal of tackling and the scrum from school rugby

The British Medical Journal argue that the scrum and tackling should be removed from schools rugby
The British Medical Journal argue that the scrum and tackling should be removed from schools rugby
©PA

Academics have urged for removal of tacking and the scrums from school rugby to protect the children of major injuries.

Allyson Pollock and Graham Kirkwood from the Institute of Health at Newcastle University have presented their case with evidence that most of the neck and head injuries are due to the collision elements of the game.

Writing in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), they said that ministers should "put the interests of the child before those of corporate professional rugby unions".

They also argued that concussions can lead to various consequences including premature death, low achievement in professional field and more so in the case of girls, who were found three to four times affected than boys.

Professor Pollock further stressed that the students can play contact rugby for their clubs but schools should not advocate for it.

The calls come against a backdrop of rising concerns over player welfare at the elite level with England internationals Billy Vunipola, Joe Marler and Ben Youngs declaring that players could strike if the demands of the modern game become too great.