World Rugby says referees must take more control and be less reliant on their television match officials.
World Rugby says referees must take more control and be less reliant on their television match officials.

World Rugby to examine excessive use of TV ref

WORLD RUGBY officials are to examine the excessive use of the television match official and could effect changes as early as November to return power to the men in the middle.

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," World Rugby chief executive Brett 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."

Brett Gosper, the chief executive of World Rugby, believes there is probably too much reliance at the moment on the TMO. Picture: Getty Images
Brett Gosper, the chief executive of World Rugby, believes there is probably too much reliance at the moment on the TMO. Picture: Getty Images

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 that the organisation 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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