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Should schools ban tackling in rugby games?

Children at play amid calls for tackling to be banned

A group of health experts have hit the headlines today - after putting forward proposals about how Rugby should be played in schools. They say - tackling should be banned - because children could get hurt.

The Rugby Football Union says the game is a fantastic sport for children.

The idea of banning tackles for under-18 games has been met with some surprise here in the South. Malcolm Shaw reports.

'Rugby is a fantastic sport for children' says RFU

'Rugby is a fantastic sport for children' says the RFU Credit: Rugby Football Union website

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) has responded to calls from more than 70 medical experts for contact rugby to be banned at school games in the UK.

It follows an open letter written by the health professionals to the government laying out the case for the ban to brought in because of the risk of injury rugby tackling can bring to school sports.

The RFU published its own views in an article on the England Rugby website saying that it takes player safety for both children and adults extremely seriously.

"Rugby is a fantastic sport for children, bringing many physical and social benefits, including increased confidence, self-esteem and self-discipline, and enjoyable physical exercise as part of a team. Teachers constantly comment on off-pitch behaviour improvements when rugby is introduced in school."

– Rugby Football Union statement

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School pays tribute to Rugby star Jonah Lomu

Jonah Lomu during a visit to Ballard School in Hampshire, pictured with the deputy head David Dunn and Headmaster Alastair Reid Credit: Ballard School

The headmaster of a school in Hampshire which was visited by the rugby star Jonah Lomu has paid tribute to him, after the sportsman's death at the age of forty.

The New Zealander became famous all over the world after his performance in the 1995 Rugby World Cup. He retired in 2002 due to a rare kidney disease, and had suffered from health problems ever since.

Jonah Lomu played a part of the promotional tour of the Webb Ellis trophy for this year's Rugby World Cup and visited many locations in the UK.

A giant in the world of rugby, New Zealand-born Jonah Lomu has died at the age of 40 Credit: PA

Mourners on social media are using the twitter hashtag #RIPJonah to salute the memory of the All Blacks' legendary sporting hero.

Jonah Lomu visited the independent Ballard School in New Milton last month to speak to pupils.

"Ballard School was devastated to hear of the death of rugby star, Jonah Lumo. We flew the New Zealand flag at half-mast out of respect and also remembered him in our Senior Assembly today.

Jonah visited Ballard a few weeks ago having responded to an invitation from Ballard parents and staff who knew him well. We have been supporting Naomi House children’s hospice, as had Mr Lumo, and he came to speak to our pupils in assembly about the importance of schooling, perseverance and aiming for excellence.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends."

– Alastair Reid, Ballard School Headmaster

Jonny Wilkinson receives CBE for services to rugby

Jonny Wilkinson receives CBE for services to rugby Credit: ITV News

Surrey-born sportsman Jonny Wilkinson has been awarded a CBE for services to Rugby.

Thirty-six year old Wilkinson, who grew up in Farnham, Surrey, was presented with the award at Buckingham Palace.

In 2003, he helped England to World cup victory and retired from the sport last year.


Royal Navy praised for lending sports facilities to United States rugby squad

A Rugby World Cup welcome at HMS Victory Credit: Royal Navy

The Royal Navy has been praised for lending its ‘first-rate’ sports facilities to the United States rugby squad as they prepare to do battle in the Rugby World Cup.

The team – known as The Eagles - will spend four days training at the Navy’s rugby facilities at Burnaby Road in Portsmouth before the tournament kicks off on Friday.

They were officially welcomed to Portsmouth in a colourful ceremony at HMS Nelson’s wardroom.

Ian Ritchie, chief executive of the Rugby Football Union, said “We extend our grateful thanks to the Royal Navy for not only providing this fantastic venue for the welcome ceremony, but also for providing their first-rate facilities for the US team to train in.”

The Royal Marines Corps of Drums welcomes the United States squad Credit: Royal Navy

Crowds welcome the Springboks to Eastbourne

The crowd assembled ahead of the Springboks' welcoming ceremony in Eastbourne

Crowds have been arriving at the Winter Gardens Theatre in Eastbourne to welcome the South African Rugby World Cup team to the UK.

The Springboks are here t take part in the Rugby World Cup. Their first match will be against Japan at the Amex Stadium in Brighton on Saturday 19th September.

The kickoff is at 4.45pm. The match will be shown live on ITV.

Eastbourne welcomes team South Africa for Rugby World Cup

The Springboks arrive at Heathrow Airport ahead of the Rugby World Cup Credit: Scott Heavey/Getty Images for England Rugby 2015

The Sussex town of Eastbourne is preparing to welcome the South African Rugby team to the Uk and the Rugby World Cup.

The Springboks arrived at Heathrow Airport on 11th September ahead of the global contest which starts on Friday 18th September 2015. The team will be welcomed at a special ceremony in Eastbourne today.

Next stop - Eastbourne
Time for a selfie before the competition begins Credit: Getty Images

Rugby World Cup trophy tours the South

The trophy which the winners of the Rugby World Cup will lift in 68 days time is on a tour of the South. Special events are being held where fans can have their pictures taken with the Webb Ellis Cup and meet some of the stars of the game. Will Greenwood, who was part of the victorious England team in 2003, has visited a rugby festival in Oxford. Richard Jones reports

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