British medics want ban on tackling in rugby for youngsters

Doctors and health experts have written to the British government calling for a ban on tackling in school rugby games.

They warn of a high risk of serious injury among players under the age of 18, and say schools should move to touch rugby and non-contact rugby.

In the open letter, which is addressed to government ministers, chief medical officers and children's commissioners, rugby is described as a "high-impact collision sport."

The signatories, who include sport scholars, academics, doctors, and public health professionals, say "the majority of all injuries occur during contact or collision, such as the tackle and the scrum."

The letter added that "these injuries which include fractures, ligamentous tears, dislocated shoulders, spinal injuries, and head injuries can have short-term, life-long, and life-ending consequences for children."