Umaga welcomes new tackle directives

Date published: January 14 2017

Blues head coach Tana Umaga has warned it might take a while for players to get used to the new high tackle directives.

The changes have now been tested in the Northern Hemisphere and will be used in Super Rugby from the start of the new season, which gets underway in February.

The former All Blacks centre says it will mean all the franchises will have to adjust their defensive coaching before the start of the season.

"Hopefully it doesn't take too long," Umaga told Newstalk ZB.

"Players will have to go lower. We've already started that with our players of trying to get them into a mindset of going lower.

"For some, it's a little bit foreign. That's my concern. We are trying to change guys who have been tackling front-on for quite a while. But we all need to adapt and adjust to what has been given to us."

Umaga did add though that he understands why the new laws have to be employed considering how damaging head and neck injuries can be.

"We understand why the changes have come into play, with the studies on concussions and the head injuries the game has had," he said.

"We're going through that ourselves at the moment with one of our players who is still suffering symptoms from concussion from the Mitre 10 Cup.

"So we totally understand and agree with the line that is being taken. But as always, it's about what is going to happen from here."