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“May as well play touch” – Jackson Hastings furiously hits out at new tackling laws

Former Wigan Warriors and Salford Red Devils star Jackson Hastings is the latest to hit out at the RFL’s new rules around tackling.

In 2025, the RFL are set to make tackles above the armpit illegal in Super League and the rest of the professional game.

Plenty of current Super League stars have slammed the decision and now the former Man of Steel Jackson Hastings has also made his move against the rule change.

He took to X to say: “Most ball carriers go into contact with the ball at armpit height. Gonna be a lot of blokes in review getting done for not stopping the offload.

“It’ll be only tackle around the legs soon where the speed of the play the ball will be that quick we may as well play touch.

“Tags on next? Come on man. Stop messing with the fabric of the game, Pretty obvious don’t hit anyone in the head but the armpit thing is a g up surly especially at pro level.”

These concerns are widespread with a petition already started to stop the rule change.

The petition’s statement reads: “Rugby is not merely a sport; it’s an institution that teaches teamwork, discipline, and resilience. The physical aspect of rugby is integral to its identity – it’s what makes rugby ‘rugby’. By delaying contact until under tens, we risk alienating young players who might lose interest due to this significant shift in gameplay.

“Moreover, research shows that early introduction to controlled contact can help young players develop better tackling techniques and reduce injury risks later on (source: British Journal of Sports Medicine). Therefore, this new rule might inadvertently increase injury rates among older children who are suddenly introduced to full-contact play without adequate preparation.

“The love for this game runs deep within me as an amateur coach. It pains me to see these changes slowly eroding the essence of a sport that has brought joy and camaraderie to so many people worldwide.

“We urge the Rugby Football League (RFL) to reconsider implementing these new rules without thorough consideration of their potential impact on grassroots participation and player safety. Please sign this petition if you share our concern for preserving the integrity of rugby league for future generations.”

If you would like to sign the petition you can click here.

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