Nigel Owens: No, the law is the same. A high tackle that is dangerous, someone leading with a swinging arm, was always to be penalised by a red card and that will still be a red card.
What has changed is that there is a greater call upon us as referees to focus more on the whole issue, to have a greater awareness of it.
Suddenly there is an important new guideline for us to act upon. So if you tackle high in the Six Nations, be prepared to take the consequences, whether you agree with it or not.
Why the change of stance?
Nigel Owens: The directive has come because we want to look after player welfare, from the very top elite level of the game down to rugby at age-grade level.
There is an awareness of concussion, of too many players taking blows to the head and the need to get them focused with their tackling so that we minimise the risk.
There will be a zero tolerance approach to this and it is clearly the correct thing to do. We each love this game, but we want it played in as secure an environment on the pitch as possible.
What is a high tackle and what is the punishment?
Nigel Owens: I explain this better in the video above, so please take a look at that also. But basically a high tackle is anything from around the shoulder or above.
It is deemed dangerous if you are coming in with a swinging arm. That is a red card.
Depending on the nature of the offence, we can also issue yellows or just give a straight penalty.
The speed limit on the M4 is 70mph. If you do 75mph and are caught, you might get a lesser sanction. If you're doing 95, it could be six points, a ban whatever.
The law is the law. There are different sanctions, depending upon the severity of the offence.
Won't this just lead to inconsistency of cards and confusion for the fans and TV viewers?
Nigel Owens: Referees will always come under scrunity. There can be 10 fantastic decisions made in a game and just one that is wrong... but invariably the focus from the media and fans will be on that one. That's just the way it is, we understand that.
But you can't necessarily look at every card given during the Six Nations in isolation.
We could have a high tackle in England versus France on Saturday and only a penalty given. Then, during Italy versus Wales on Sunday, we could see a seemingly identical incident, yet a yellow card is brandished.
Fans will be thinking why one punishment in one game and different punishment in the other?
Well, it could be that in the Italy v Wales game the referee has seen two other high tackles and has told the captain that next time it's a yellow card. So the offending team has been put on warning, which didn't necessarily happen in the match the day before.
Or, of course, it could be vice versa.
Referees do have different opinions and interpretations as well. Were you to ask employees at MediaWales to name their preferred Wales XV to take on Italy, I bet none of you would come up with the same side.
There will be reasons why one referee gives seemingly different decisions to a referee in another match. But what is most important is that you are consistent within the 80 minutes you are in charge of and punish things during that particular game the same way.
Players and fans will respect that.
Will this new directive mean an end to the big hits we love?
Nigel Owens: Absolutely not. We don't want to stop those type of thundering tackles that get the crowd on their feet, have something of a wow factor about them.
They are part of the game, will continue to be part of the game. The fans love it.
What we DON'T want to see are big hits that make reckless contact to the head with a swinging arm. If we see that, we will deal with it harshly.
How hard is it to get the decision right in a split second?
Nigel Owens: Of course it's tough, particularly with everything else that is going on around you.
But do you know, it's even tougher for the referees on a Saturday afternoon who don't have the benefit of a TMO. They are the ones with the hardest job.
Okay, the international game is quicker, but we are also aware that whereas the decision has to be ours as referees, we can go to video replay technology if necessary.
Even when I do that, though, I always make a final call of seeing the incident again at full speed. When it's slowed down, sometimes it can make things look worse than it really is.
So how is it best summed up?
Nigel Owens: As with anything new, there will be a bedding in period. But once everyone becomes adjusted to us dealing with this directive, I think it will be fine.
Referees will still need to apply empathy and common sense in making decisions.
But this change of stance is an important one because as referees we do have a responsibility for player welfare.
The players need to get the hits lower and the referees need to deal with those who don't.
We will do our best as referees to make decisions as accurately as possible, whether it's a penalty, yellow card or red, and the players will do their best to eliminate the risk of high tackles.
By getting it right at the elite level of the game, we can set the standards the whole way down.