American football looks to rugby for defensive techniques

THE NFL, gripped by fears its sport has fallen victim to reckless and damaging attitudes around defensive technique, has turned to rugby as a guiding light on safe and sustainable practice.

Head injuries in American football are increasing, with coaches, fans and administrators all concerned that players are willing to sacrifice their safety by leading into contact with their heads.

The dangers of poor technique have been illustrated in the case of Hurricanes centre Conrad Smith, whose latest concussion was the result of him putting his head in the wrong place in a tackle.

That same flaw saw him take two serious blows to the face last year and needs to be urgently addressed once he returns to playing.

Topics:  injury nfl rugby union wellington hurricanes

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