top of page

Rugby can help your football player become a better and safer tackler.


The best coaches want their players to tackle well, but they also want them to do it safely.

Tackle football has come under increased scrutiny due to concerns about concussions and head injuries. Many football programs are turning to rugby-style tackling which places the emphasis on shoulder-leverage tackling, targeting the hip of the ball carrier, and keeping the head on the outside of the ball carrier's body.


This is a departure from football players placing their head across the chest of a ball carrier -- the “head across the bow” method that has been taught for so long in “traditional” football circles.


Youth, high school and collegiate programs like Ohio St., Boise St., Rutgers University, University of California and the University of Washington have adopted rugby-style tackling, as well as NFL teams like the Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks.

Rugby Coaching Drills - Introducing Tackling to Under 9s
"I think it's hard for coaches to stand up and say, 'We were wrong. We were teaching it wrong.'" - Chris Ash, Rutgers head coach
Tigard High School (OR)
Coyote Creek Youth Football - San Jose CA
Seattle Seahawks Tackle Teaching Tape
Central Loudoun Youth Football League (VA)
“We would like to think we are a rugby style tackling team,” - Chris Petersen, University of Washington head coach
"Football Turns to Rugby for Tackling Safety Measures"
• "In Texas, the Land of Football, It’s Rugby to the Rescue" - New York Times
• "Marshall University study finds “rugby-style” tackle lessens concussion risk" - 13WOWK
• "Football Teams Turning To Rugby-Style Tackling" - ESPN
• "3 Years Later, Pete Carroll’s “rugby style tackling” Video Still Changing Football ..." - SBNation Field Gulls
• "Rutgers Coach Chris Ash 'Tackles' Rugby-style Technique" -
• "STUDY: Football Practice Without Helmets Reduces Concussion Risk, Improves Tackling Ability" - Stack
• FILM STUDY: "Can Ohio State's Practice Circuit Make Tackling Safer While Still Remaining Effective?" - Eleven Warriors
• "Rugby and the NFL: The exchange of ideas between union and American Football" - Rugby World
• "NFL is 'seven years behind' College Football" - CBS Sports/247 Sports
• "The Philosophy that Transformed Washington's Defense" - USA Today
• "Wilson Players Bring Love of Rugby, and its Lessons, to Football Field" - Long Beach Press-Telegram
• "If the NFL Actually Wants to be Safer, it’s Time to Reevaluate Tackling" - Philadelphia Inquirer
• "Rugby-style Tackling Could be the Future of a Safer NFL ..." - USA Today
• "Coach Empting Talks Tackling" - Voice of Alexandria
bottom of page