epa07139326 South Africa's Andre Esterhuizen (C) is being tackled by England's Owen Farrell (R) during the Rugby autumn international match between England and South Africa at Twickenham stadium in London, Britain, 03 November 2018. EPA/FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA

LONDON – World Rugby chief executive Brett Gosper has urged referees to show more red and yellow cards in a continued effort to put an end to dangerous tackles in the game.

The governing rugby body has been campaigning to end dangerous tackles, especially those that impact the head, which has been a problem in the game, as high rate of concussions continue’s to put a damper in rugby.

“The cards are there to change behaviour,” Gosper told the Daily Telegraph.

“They only continue to be a problem if the behaviour does not change. The only way you can get the player behaviour to change is to sanction with red cards and actually, we have probably not seen enough of it.

“I would say in many ways we have probably not been hard enough. We have not had the behaviour change that we are seeking yet, so we have to continue in that vein.”

The chief executive comments, come after numerous divisive tackles during the November internationals, including England Owen Farrell’s tackle on South Africa’s Andre Esterhuizen which went unpunished despite a video review.

Australia’s Samu Kerevi also escaped punishment when he went in on Leigh Halfpenny in Cardiff, which left the Welsh full-back with concussion symptoms.

“The whole tackle law is to protect the ball carrier and the tackler, in fact mostly the tackler, given that two-thirds of concussions occur to that player rather than the one carrying the ball,” Gosper added.

“Dropping the height of the tackle is due to the statistics showing us that if the player is bent at the waist as they tackle, they are four times less likely to suffer a concussion.”

Photo credit- SA Rugbymag

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