Former Ireland captain Keith Wood believes more needs to be done to tidy up tackling in the game.
Wood was responding to claims from Brian O’Driscoll that the game has gone soft when appearing on OTB AM on Thursday.
The former Ireland skipper tweeted in the wake of Manu Tuilagi's citing for a dangerous tackle to express the view that the "game has gone soft".
Tuilagi avoided ban after his citing for a dangerous tackle was dismissed after heappeared before an independent disciplinary hearing in London
“I don’t think the game is going soft”, Wood said.
“I do think we have to tidy it up, I’m convinced about that as a father of three who watches three sons play.
“I watch a fair amount of underage rugby and training sessions, what happens on a Saturday in an international match or the professional game happens then on a Sunday in an U12 match. We just need to make that tackle lower and a bit safer.
“The duty of care making the tackle is for the guy who’s tackling; his head needs to be below the shoulders on the point of tackle we’ve then seen for the last few weeks a lot of head to head collisions. I think that needs to be brought down a bit lower.”
Wood also spoke about the headaches that have kept Jared Payne sidelined for months. Ulster say the veteran centre has returned to training this week.
The lack of information and the uncertainty surrounding the nature and cause of the headaches has led to fears for Payne’s career and the long term impact that this issue could have on him away from rugby.
Wood says sometimes silence on the matter can do more harm than good:
“When there is a void, when there is no information being out in everyone starts to speculate. The one thing we can say with great certainty is that we want to make sure he is looked after properly.
“It’s taken an awful long time, its hard from the outside because we don’t have any information but the duty of care for the player is absolutely paramount.
“You don’t want to highlight a very particular injury to say you’ve a weakness in one spot that could be exacerbated the next time you go and play, it’s one of those very difficult lines of communications it’s where the sport struggles an awful lot.
“It’s heightened at the moment anything to do with head injuries or concussion.”