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England Hooker's Tackle Brings Up New Tackle Debate

BY Philip Bendon  ·  Thursday Nov 17, 2022

Argentina’s Los Pumas got their Autumn Nation Series off to a flying start as they beat England at Twickenham for the first time in 16 years.

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In a back-and-forth clash the visitors got home thanks in large part to the goal kicking of Emiliano Boffelli who has continued his incredible run of form.

One such penalty came in the last quarter of the fixture when English Hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie was penalised for an off-the-ball tackle on Pumas replacement prop Eduardo Bello.

In a rather awkward attempt, Cowan-Dickie caught Bello side on leaving the prop rolling around on the ground in agony.

Clearly Cowan-Dickie did not have any malicious attempt behind the hit as he immediately came over to check in on his Argentina counterpart.

Despite the lack of attempt, hits like this one have seen several players spend extended time on the sideline due to horrible knee injuries with the most extreme example of a knee injury being that of Ireland’s Dan Leavy who was forced into retirement at just 27-years-old.

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Leavy’s initial injury came at the breakdown in a clash between Leinster and Ulster in their Heineken Champions Cup quarterfinal clash.

With World Rugby clamping down on head high injuries, the contact point is becoming more difficult to understand and officiate.

Take for example the NFL where low shots below the knee against the Quarterback are banned due to the propensity for a very serious injury.

It is certainly a difficult battle finding where the tackle line can be without further complicating the game and risking watering down the physical nature of the sport.

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