Coaches united on injury prevention

by AAP

Wallabies defence coach Nathan Grey has joined forces with his counterparts from the world's top rugby nations to assess how tackling technique can reduce the risk of injuries.

It is the first time elite international coaches have collaborated in such a manner with World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont and former England forward Andy Farrell among the 13 in attendance.

Contact sports worldwide have grappled with the dangers of head injury in recent years, most notably the NFL in the United States where a billion-dollar class action suit was settled earlier this year.

One-time NSW Origin back James McManus has also sued his former NRL side Newcastle over the club's treatment of his concussions.

World Rugby research found that 76 per cent of head injury assessments occurred in the tackle, with 72 per cent of those sustained by the tackler.

The group looked at videos demonstrating the most common occurrences of head injuries, finding that late footwork and indecision from the tackler were among the factors that can potentially lead to injury.

"Injury prevention is a priority for the sport and I would like to thank unions for their full, open and collaborative contribution," Beaumont said.

"The insights into tackle technique, and more importantly factors that have potential to reduce injury, were exceptional.

"We will use these insights to consider how best to develop an educational and technique program that builds on the solid foundations from the tackle height adjustment this year, to further the protection of players at all levels of the game as part of a wider injury-prevention strategy."