Wasps boss Lee Blackett has taken aim at victims of dangerous tackles for what he deems an exaggeration of the impact of said tackles in order to have opponents sent off.
In recent years, World Rugby emphasised stamping out or attempting to stamp out dangerous high tackles in the game.
Match officials have been told to clamp down on defenders who make contact anywhere above the chest area of an opponent with this leading to increased numbers of red cards being shown in competitions around the world.
But Wasps’ Blackett has now warned that rugby is at risk of becoming like football in the sense that tackled players overreact by inflating the impact of the hit to try to influence match officials.
‘You want the right decision to be made and it’s a tough one,’ said Blackett at a media briefing following the red card for Ben Morris in their win over Worcester. ‘At the moment, what I see in rugby is that anyone who gets slightly hit around the head, they are staying down.
‘It’s a dangerous precedent. Everyone wants to win and I hate to watch footballers diving. I’m not saying it is happening all the time but I don’t want it to go into rugby.
‘I don’t blame the players for it because they are competitors and want to win and 100% it is happening. We don’t want to be in a situation where players are trying to get other players sent off.
‘With crowds [back] it is only natural for a referee to look at the big screen when everyone at Franklin’s Gardens is screaming about a Wasps chop tackle and they are trying to make it a red card.
‘I just want it to be accurate and I like VAR in football because the right decision has been made. All we want in rugby is the best decisions made and, generally, the best referees make the best decision in rugby.