James Haskell opens up on players' opinions on new high tackle laws

Northampton Saints v Harlequins - Gallagher Premiership Rugby

James Haskell has opened up on how he and other professional rugby players feel on the new rulings regarding high tackles within the sport. 

Many players have spoken out against a series of new rulings from World Rugby, which have seen harsher sanctions given to those who are in breach of the rules regarding safe tackles. 

The new sanctions - which include a zero-tolerance towards head contact, and a 'below the nipple line' policy to tackles - have proved hard to understand for many, with both current and former professionals voicing their displeasure at the supposed ambiguity of the law. 

Now, speaking on the sanction changes, Northampton Saints flanker and England international James Haskell has spoken of player's frustrations with the changes, and a need for greater clarity.

"They're [World Rugby] always fiddling with the laws every season," Haskell shared on Joe's House of Rugby. "And certainly as a player, I've never had any input.

"I've never been asked about it. We suddenly just get presented it, so I don't know who comes up with this stuff."

Haskell also spoke out on incident referrals to the TMO and Citing Commissioners, which saw tackles replayed at a fraction of the speed at which they actually occurred, worsening their nature and perception.

"[On a tackle on Jamie Roberts] I never wanted to hurt him. But they said it was with intent and because they played it slowly, the ask really bizarre things like 'show me in the dictionary where it says you can make a hit', and when you watch it in slow motion, it does look terrible."

Northampton Saints Media Session

Former England and London Irish player Nick Kennedy also gave his opinion on the recent changes, likening them to previous rulings which saw harsher sanctions dished out to those who made contact with players in the air.

"Anyone who touched a player in the air at all would get a yellow card, and now, you don't see many people getting taken out in the air do you?.

"It did ruin a few games early on, and it is poor for the guys who have paid money to go and watch the game, and it's poor for the guy who's done it. But is is nearly stamped out of the game."

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