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Jackson becomes Super Rugby tackle technique review officer

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Former Super rugby referee Glen Jackson has been appointed as the new Super Rugby tackle technique review officer after hanging up the whistle in January.

Player welfare and preventing dangerous high tackles remains a high priority for SANZAAR and World Rugby as the game looks to reduce the number of concussions that occur. Super Rugby will therefore feature a Tackle Technique Review Process trial in 2020 [as announced on 20/01/2020].


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The five-time New Zealand Referee of the Year Jackson was the first Kiwi to both play and referee 100 first class fixtures and has had an on-field career that has spanned 25 years.

A former Maori All Black, and Chiefs first five eighth, Jackson began his rugby career in his home province of Bay of Plenty, he went on to play 60 matches for the Chiefs in Super Rugby before venturing north and making 159 appearances for Saracens in the Guinness Premiership.

During his successful career abroad, Jackson won the coveted Golden Boot award for most points scored in the premiership in 2006/07.

After retiring from playing rugby in 2010 he returned to New Zealand where he continued his transition into refereeing. He debuted with the whistle in New Zealand at a Heartland Championship fixture in 2010 and climbed the ranks quickly, officiating his first Super Rugby match in 2011. His first taste of international rugby refereeing was in 2012 when he took charge of the England v Fiji match at Twickenham in London.

Jackson’s career includes refereeing 32 Test matches, 88 Super Rugby matches and 60 Mitre 10 Cup matches, including eight Ranfurly Shield fixtures.

To oversee the trial SANZAAR has appointed a tackle technique review officer. Former player and recently retired international referee Glen Jackson will begin work from Round 1. The 2018 New Zealand referee of the year, Jackson was the first Kiwi to play and referee 100 first-class matches.

Super Rugby CEO Andy Marinos stated, “The High Tackle Technique Review process will not impose any sanctions on Players. It is not designed to penalise the player in any way but to hopefully shine a light on poor technique that has been shown to increase the risk of significant injury and attempt to affect behavioural change via education and identification.”

“We are extremely fortunate to have Glen take up this role. His career includes refereeing 32 international matches, 88 Super Rugby matches and 60 Mitre 10 Cup matches in New Zealand. He only recently retired as a referee and is ideally placed to act as the review officer for the law trial.”

“Of course, those tackles deemed high and reckless or dangerous within any match will be treated under the existing laws of the game and will incur sanctions.”

Research has shown that the majority of concussions are caused by tacklers who tackle with an upright body. SANZAAR is focusing on implementing a process that identifies high-risk upright tackles. The shadow trial will see SANZAAR looking at all tackles each round and identifying tackles in which the tackler is in an upright body position, and in the event it is deemed the tackler has shown poor technique in executing an upright tackle, a warning may be sent to the player and player’s coach.

This process will be an educational process that will aim to educate players and coaches of high-risk behaviours by identifying poor tackle techniques and seeking to inform players of better choices they can make in the tackle zone.

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