Ref Smart

December 8, 2016 in News

At the start of the current season the IRFU Referees Department placed a renewed focus on existing foul play laws to remove illegal and dangerous collision based contact from domestic competitions in Ireland.

RefSMART explains the focus that referees will place on removing dangerous play from the game. The video on this
page illustrates illegal and dangerous tackles that will be sanctioned by Referees in Irish Domestic Rugby.


  • All tacklers must attempt to grasp the ball carrier
  • shoulder-only tackle or shoulder-first tackle where there is a late or no attempt to grasp ball carrier and stiff-arm tackles are not permitted and will be sanctioned
  • aim is to reduce the risk of injury by removing these dangerous and illegal tackle situations from the game

1) All tackles must attempt to grasp opponents when executing a tackle
2) shoulder-only, shoulder-first and stiffarm tackle not permitted
3) Also continue to be a strong focus on high tackles, lift tackles and tackles in the air