News |

Barnard Castle School and the RFU collaborate to trial new tackling law changes

30 Jan 2023

Barnard Castle School was delighted to welcome the Rugby Football Union (RFU) as well as friends and colleagues from schools in the North last weekend, as we embrace and remain at the forefront of key developments in the sport. 

Barney hosted four schools (Dame Allan’s School, Durham Cathedral Schools Foundation, Newcastle School for Boys and RGS Newcastle) for a series of U-17 rugby matches, trialling the proposed tackle height law changes.

In January, RFU Council members voted to lower the height of the tackle to the waistline across the community game from (Age Grade & Adult), which will come into effect from 1st July 2023.

The event was an opportunity for players, coaches and parents to familiarise themselves with the upcoming changes to the laws, which have been made in order to reduce risk within the game.

Tony Jackson, Headmaster of Barnard Castle School, said: “We are delighted to have been able to organise and host such an event, and to bring like-minded colleagues and their players from across the region.”

Mr Jackson is also the representative of The Heads’ Conference (HMC) Schools with the RFU and has been in regular dialogue with the National Governing Body about the future of the game in schools.

“I recognise there has been a great deal of frustration as people come to terms with these proposed changes,” he added. “However, much depends on context and from a school’s perspective and with the ever-changing scientific picture, changes had to be made to ensure this great game is played for years to come.

“We are proud to be able to support the RFU in helping ensure the game continues to evolve and develop for future generations.”

Lee Dickson, Barnard Castle School’s Master in Charge of Rugby and a former England international, added: “Player welfare is paramount and this latest development in rugby mirrors my own core beliefs in relation to effective and safe tackling techniques. As a player, I was always taught to tackle low, in a safe and controlled manner, which I and the wider coaching staff here at Barney, instil in all our students.

“It was a pleasure to host competitors from neighbouring schools for an informative and enjoyable day, which was well received by all players and spectators. Our thanks to the RFU for visiting and we look forward to strengthening this partnership and growing schools rugby, as a result.”