Academics and more than 70 doctors are calling for a ban on tackling in rugby matches played in Irish schools and UK.
In a open letter to ministers, they say harms from this “high-impact crash sport” can have lifelong consequences for children.
Patrons say other kinds as well as rugby builds character are much less challenging.
The issues have already been raised as a seven-year programme headed by the Rugby Football Union is to introduce rugby to a million children in state schools.
The RFU’s programme, which started in 2012 and is running until 2019, has up to now reached 400 schools, with 350 to follow.