Professor tells us why tackling in schools rugby urgently needs to be banned

Open letter co-signatory Eric Anderson speaks to Off The Ball about the reasons

Professor tells us why tackling in schools rugby urgently needs to be banned

©INPHO

Earlier today, health experts called for ban on tackling in schools rugby in the Irish and UK schools system in an open letter.

Eric Anderson, who is a professor of sport and masculinities at the University of Winchester, is one of main signatories of the report to ban tackling in schools' rugby and joined Off The Ball tonight to explain why change needs to happen now and about the opposition that faces.

"There is no viable reason why children from age 11 need to be compelled to play tackle rugby against their will," said Anderson, emphasising that the report is focused on schools rugby rather than club rugby which is a private organisation.

He feels that tag rugby needs to be put at the forefront rather than the full contact version at schools level, although the RFU are opposed to removing tackles within the schools system.

"Only 14% of PE teachers have concussion training. Only 38% of PE teachers have even got a Level 1 rugby coaching certificate. So you have a workforce of PE teachers who don't know how to provide rugby and are providing it to children who don't necessarily want to play it - some children want to play it of course," he said, also adding that size differences at youth level are another problem.