Leeds Rhinos legend Kevin Sinfield is on the start of an exciting new journey as he takes on the role of Defence Coach at England rugby union after success at Leicester Tigers.
As a defence coach, a big part of his focus has been lowering tackle height as he hopes to tackle – pardon the pun – one of the biggest issues in both rugby league and rugby union.
Contact with the head has been a talking point for years in both sports, and indeed the likes of football.
In fact concussion resulted in the man who replaced Sinfield as Leeds’ number 13 Stevie Ward to retire prematurely.
Sinfield explained how to help deal with this problem by focusing on young players and educating them.
“I agree with high tackles resulting in red cards – quite rightly they are,” Sinfield said according to The Ruck.
“Tackle height is something we worked on for a long long time at Leicester.
“There is mitigation in some of these but ask anybody who worked with me at Leicester and they will understand that they’ve been coached to tackle low.
“The sooner we can educate, develop and work with younger players on tackle height, it makes the game safer for everybody. My first role as a coach is to provide as safe an environment as I can. That includes how we practise tackling.
“Everything is a balance. You run the risk if you tackle high of getting it wrong. I’d much rather we tackle low rather than a) somebody getting hurt or b) us losing somebody.”