2008 ARU Safety Directives
AUSTRALIAN RUGBY UNION SAFETY DIRECTIVES
for Players, Coaches, Administrators & Match Officials
The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) and the International Rugby Board (IRB) encourages
Clubs and Schools to take recommended measures to ensure that the game is both safe
and enjoyable to play. Following are directives and recommendations in the interest of
safety. (Place this safety directives poster in a suitable location visible to all rugby stakeholders).
Statistics indicate that the majority of serious injuries are now occurring during or consequent to
the tackle. The risk of injury can be reduced by teaching correct head positioning as an essential
component of a safe tackle.
Serious injuries are also occurring to the ball carrier, particularly when going to ground in the
tackle. The risk of injury can be reduced by teaching balance and stability techniques in contact
and correct body position when falling to the ground.
Illegal and dangerous tackling should be discouraged, such as crash tackling the defenseless,
tackling player’s without the ball, early, late, ‘stiff arm’ tackling and tackling around the head and
neck. Referees are to be particularly severe in dealing with offenders.
Scrum Engagement Sequence (For Games at all Levels)
The scrum engagement is managed in sequence by the referee to ensure that it occurs safely,
squarely and in synchronization. It is to be strictly observed and the Law requires that referees
will call the scrum engagement in the sequence:
CROUCH, TOUCH, PAUSE, ENGAGE (when both front rows are ready)
To begin, the front rows should assemble ‘off set’, which means players are lining up to the left of
their immediate opponents ie. hookers are opposite the gap between opposition hooker and tight-
Front row players must adopt the CROUCH position before the engagement. Head and shoulders
must remain above the level of the hips, with knees bent s