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BBC Sport You are in: Rugby Union: Rules: Laws  

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Tackling
Around the Academy:

Tackle
Tackling is the only way of legally bringing down your opponent in rugby union.

But there are certain laws on how you can tackle an opponent which you must follow, otherwise you will give away needless penalties which your team-mates will not appreciate.

If a tackler and the ball carrier go to ground, the tackler cannot handle the ball because they are not on their feet.

Only players on their feet can handle the ball.

It can be tempting to bring the ball back to your side, but if the referee see this, he'll award a penalty to the opposition.

As soon as a tackle is made, the tackler must roll away from the player they have just brought down.

Referees have been clamping down on this recently because the tackler can often slow the ball up for the opposition, helping their side to re-group in defence.

So if the referee believes the tackler has not rolled away quick enough, he will award a penalty to the opposition.

When you tackle an opponent, you cannot make contact with their head.

This is entirely for safety reasons.

The referee will instantly give a penalty if he sees a high tackle.

And he will also have a few words to say to the tackler if he thinks the challenge was dangerous.

Expect a yellow card and a spell in the sin-bin or worse, a red card and instant dismissal.

So aim for your opponent's chest, waist or legs, you will make a better tackle if you aim for those areas in the first place.





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