Shaun Edwards expects high tackle send offs to rise

Date published: November 7 2018

There is a “pretty good chance” of a card in every rugby game under World Rugby’s high tackle crackdown, according to Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards.

The high tackle line has come back into the spotlight this week after Owen Farrell avoided a penalty for a controversial hit on Springboks back Andre Esterhuizen.

Despite that decision, which Edwards said harked back to Farrell’s rugby league background, the Welsh defence coach said cards were becoming more common than not.

“At the moment you go to the game and there is a pretty good chance someone could get sent off,” Edwards told Rugby Australia‘s official website.

“Whether that adds to the intrigue or the excitement, someone being a red-hot favourite who then might lose because they have had someone sent off in the first 10 minutes, I don’t know.

“Only numbers through the gates and on pay-per-view would show that.”

Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus was captured poking fun at last weekend’s controversial Farrell decision in a video that pictured him teaching Esterhuizen the “Farrell technique”.

Erasmus revealed post-match he was going to coach the technique since it was legal and he was true to his word in the viral clip.

Edwards said there was a easy solution to avoiding penalties or cards, no matter the size of a player.

“We practise tackling low. We target tackling underneath the ball or round the legs,” he said.

“It is pretty difficult for big tall guys when the little fellas are 5ft 10in or whatever. I feel for them, but they have to adjust – it is as simple as that.”