Should we ban tackling in rugby in schools?


A group of leading doctors are urging the government to ban rugby tackling in schools due to concerns over the " lifelong and life-ending consequences for children" of injuries sustained on the rugby pitch.

Read about there story here:

Both of my sons, 12 and 8, play rugby – the older son for his local club in Bath as well as his school. In the rugby season that can mean up to five practice and two matches a week. I do worry about the physical impact on his body, especially as he plays forward and is involved in the scrum.

I know parents – mothers mainly – who say they would NEVET let their son play rugby; and a good friend who is an orthopaedic surgeon refuses to let his son play in the A team for school.

I feel very torn: it’s a sport they love and a big part of life for boys who grow up in our rugby-mad city of Bath. But of course every instinct that I have wants to protect them.

Their coaches are superb, and every precaution is taken to ensure they play safely and abiding by strict RFU rules for younger players.

But I can’t pretend that I wouldn’t welcome a ban so there is no difficult decision to me made. Touch rugby is a great game.

Would our children really miss out massively if full contact rugby was something they waited until they were 18 to experience?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.


I think if it was played in state schools it would have been banned years ago. It only carries on because people who pay for education generally sign up to the ethos that includes sports like this. Sooner or later it will probably be banned but I think that would be a great shame. Young men need a way to burn off their aggression.

Either way it’s a “touchy” subject!


Thanks for sharing your thoughts, @stanley_nj. My son maintains that hockey is far more dangerous than rugby, and they have lost far more team players to injury during the hockey season to broken ankles and the like. I guess the difference between ‘burning off aggression’ and danger is the head injury issue.

Did you see the Will Smith film Concussion? It’s changed the way the US perceive their game of American football due to the rise in football-related head trauma. Bangs on heads are no joke, and the likelihood of sustaining a head injury does go up when playing rugby. Here’s the trailer: