Monday 16 January 2017

Ban on tackling would be dangerous for kids - Carter

Published 11/03/2016 | 02:30

Rugby star Dan Carter at the Foroige Youth Citizenship Awards launch in Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin. Photo: Jerry McCarthy
Rugby star Dan Carter at the Foroige Youth Citizenship Awards launch in Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin. Photo: Jerry McCarthy

Banning under-18s from tackling in schools rugby could do more harm than good, according to former All Blacks rugby legend Dan Carter.

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The World Cup champion - deemed to be the greatest out-half of all time - said the debate over the long-term implications of tackling in rugby and contact sports was a "huge issue" the All Blacks had wrestled with.

But he said taking the contact out of sports for young players was not the answer and could do more damage if they continued playing as adults.

"To take tackling out of rugby for people up until 18, I think, is going to be extremely dangerous because they won't learn how to tackle properly," he said.

"Something I've learned throughout my career is the growth of the understanding of concussion, and the medical procedures that they now have in place, are completely different to 10 years ago where players used to get concussed and they would play the next week or they would continue to play their game."

Mr Carter, who was in Dublin yesterday to launch Aldi's Foróige Youth Citizenship Awards, taking place in July, said it's up to parents to decide whether they want their child to engage in any contact sport.

However, he would have no problem with his sons, Marco (3) and Fox (1), playing rugby or other sports if they want to when they are older.

Irish Independent

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