World Rugby has announced a reduction in concussion incidents at last year’s World Cup in comparison to the 2018 elite competition average.
The tournament in Japan – the first World Cup to feature the High Tackle Sanction Framework – delivered an overall concussion incidence decrease of 28 per cent and a 37 per cent reduction in tackle concussion incidence.
The framework, which provides a step-by-step method for grading and sanctioning a high tackle, was designed to help reduce concussion risk by changing player behaviour from high-risk upright to lower-risk bent-at-the-waist tackles.
World Rugby said the Japan 2019 outcomes “indicate promising early signs that the framework approach is effective”.
Yellow card sanctions at the tournament increased by 74 per cent and red cards by 138 per cent compared to the 2018 elite competition average, with the governing body saying the “tough deterrent was a direct contributing factor” to the reduction in concussions.
World Rugby also said Japan 2019 saw an overall reduction in injuries from 90 injuries per 1,000 player hours in 2015 to 83 injuries per 1,000 player hours, while injury replacements per match reduced from 2.08 in 2015 to 1.13 in 2019.
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