The Australian Rugby League moved closer to outlawing the shoulder charge on Tuesday with the rule-change expected to be extended around the world.
The ARL Commission has accepted a recommendation to make the shoulder charge illegal from 2013 after reviewing a detailed report which suggested the increased size of athletes has increased the likelihood of injury.
The review found that shoulder charges made up 0.05 per cent of the 142,355 tackles made in 2012, with less than four per cent resulting in injury to the attacking player and less than one per cent to the defensive player. Seventeen per cent resulted in contact with the head of the attacking player.
The ARL have commenced work with England's RFL and other member nations of the Rugby League International Federation with a view to extending the move at all levels of the game on an international basis - New Zealand already has a domestic ban in place.
"This is about reducing a potential risk of serious injury to our players," National Rugby League interim chief executive Shane Mattiske said.
"The Commission has gone through a thorough review process and been public in warning players about the risks of illegal play.
"The report shows that the shoulder charge is not a significant part of the game and its removal is not likely to impact on the way the game is played.
"With the increase in size and strength of the players, we believe this is the time to eliminate a potential risk."
Should the shoulder charge should be banned in Rugby League?