World Rugby wants referees to take control back from TMO

24 Jul, 2018 9:32 am

(Reuters) – World Rugby will examine the use of television match officials to see if they are having too much influence on games and could put changes in place for test matches in Europe in November, chief executive Brett Gosper has said.

The move follows a review into the TMO system announced last week by SANZAAR, the southern hemisphere’s governing body, which admitted to “some challenges” during Super Rugby and tests in the June international window.

“There is probably too much reliance at the moment on the TMO,” Gosper told media in San Francisco.

“The feeling in the room is that we would like referees, themselves, to take a bit more control.

“That’s something that we are going to work through.

“We think we have the ability to move quickly, maybe have a different protocol ready to test in November, potentially.”

The TMO and the disciplinary process around the issuing of red cards have been under heavy scrutiny in recent weeks, with southern hemisphere coaches querying decisions and criticising the protocols.

SANZAAR chief executive Andy Marinos said last week they felt referees needed to take control of the games again, with the TMO providing “context to the officials’ decision making”.

Gosper said World Rugby’s review had not stemmed from a series of incidents in the southern hemisphere competitions that had provoked the debate.

“It wasn’t these particular June tests — although there were some particularly strong views coming out of the southern hemisphere in particular,” he said.

“We evaluate everything in each window – protocols, judicial, injury – and that’s part of the process.”

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