sport

League bans shoulder charges

The Rugby League International Federation has confirmed a worldwide ban on shoulder charges will begin with the World Club Challenge in Leeds on Friday.

The controversial tackle was banned in Australia at the end of last year and New Zealand already had a ban in place in its domestic competition.

The Rugby Football League decided to allow the tackles until a full consultation process had been undertaken, and they could opt to delay the ban's introduction until the end of the season, but that appears unlikely and it is set to apply from this weekend's Super League fixtures.

Catalans Dragons' Julian Bousquet and Castleford's Rangi Chase have already been banned this season for controversial tackles.

"As we look forward to an incredibly exciting season for the game, culminating in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, reviewing rules such as the shoulder charge is an important part of ensuring we have created the right environment for our players," RLIF chairman Scott Carter said.

"Player safety is a fundamental principle and the latest research and current trends show that the shoulder charge has the potential to create an unacceptable risk of injury for players."