Thursday 19 April 2018

Shaun Edwards: Choke tackle is extremely dangerous and a blight on the game

1 February 2013; Wales assistant coach Shaun Edwards during a press conference ahead of their opening RBS Six Nations Rugby Championship match against Ireland on Saturday. Wales Rugby Press Conference, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
1 February 2013; Wales assistant coach Shaun Edwards during a press conference ahead of their opening RBS Six Nations Rugby Championship match against Ireland on Saturday. Wales Rugby Press Conference, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
Declan Whooley

Declan Whooley

Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards believes the choke tackle should be removed from rugby as it adds nothing to the game and can be extremely dangerous.

The tactic of holding an attacking player up off the ground by wrapping an arm around his neck and shoulders has been highly effective for Ireland in recent years under the tutelage of Aussie defence coach Les Kiss, an ex-rugby league player and coach.

Edwards argues that the high tackle element of the choke tackle is down played and is every bit as serious as concussion which has been a huge talking point in recent months.

Speaking at the Welsh press conference today head of their encounter with France this weekend

“I think the choke tackle is very, very dangerous,” he said. "To me, it’s a bit of a blight on the game at the moment.

"It encourages people to tackle high. Everyone is going on about concussions and people tackling too high. Well, let’s start with that.

“I think referees should referee it as a tackle for longer.”

Edwards then turned the tables by asking the assembled media whether anyone felt the choke tackle added anything to the game.

Addressing the assembled media, Edwards asked: “Does anyone here think it adds to the game in any way, shape or form?

“Do any of you think it makes the game more exciting?

“What happens after a choke tackle?”

Wales host Ireland in round four of the Six Nations on March 14.

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