England head coach Eddie Jones says the possibility of one of the autumn Tests being decided by a controversial red card is a price worth paying to make the game safer.
Referees have been instructed to enforce a crackdown on dangerous tackles, particularly those that are high, as part of a drive to reduce instances of concussion.
The hard-line approach has produced a number of contentious red cards already this season, the highest profile being Danny Cipriani’s dismissal on Gloucester duty against Munster a fortnight ago.
England vs South Africa
November 3, 2018, 2:00pm
England open the autumn internationals against South Africa at Twickenham on Saturday and Jones accepts that one result over the coming weeks is sure to be influenced by a sending-off.
“Yes it is inevitable, but so be it. If the game’s going to be better then that’s the price you’ve got to pay,” Jones said. “I was involved in the original committee about the tackle height and we need to make the game safer.
“Has common sense been applied to the law? The law is right and we need to keep moving in that direction. Everyone said when they brought in outlawing the tip tackle that it would be a horrific situation.
“Within six months no-one talks about a tip tackle now. It’s out of the game, it’s a safer game for the players and it’s the same thing that will happen with the tackle law.
“There will be an adjustment period that is always difficult, but we’ll get through that adjustment period and the game will be safer.”
Jones has placed the responsibility to avoid making dangerous tackles on his players, limiting the time spent addressing the new directives from World Rugby at the squad’s Portugal training camp.
“The law doesn’t look after you if you tackle high, it’s just the way it is,” the 58-year-old said. “We haven’t spent that much time on it and we don’t intend to because the players just have to learn it’s a new game now.
“Each player has got to adjust their technique. It’s not a team thing, it’s each player has to learn to adjust their technique to the tackle and they’ve got to do it themselves.
“We monitor all their actions in training, if they’re tackling too high in training we’ll talk to them.”
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