In t his new f eat ure, we aim t o give you t he lowdown on issues of law in rugby
Television match officials (TMOs) cause frequent debate. Wales’ disallowed try against England in the Six Nations, when Gareth Anscombe and Anthony Watson dived for the ball (above), is just one controversial incident this year.
It is unlikely that TMO usage will ever be perfect, but World Rugby are running a trial that changes how TMOs can be used in November Tests hosted by Tier One nations.
The objective is to further reduce TMO reliance and time impact on the game, while also ensuring that there is clear, consistent and accurate on-field decision-making. Tony Spreadbury, RFU’s head of professional game match officials “The biggest change fans will see in this trial is that greater influence will be given back to the referee with the removal of ‘on the run’ chat between match officials and TMO.
“If the referee agrees to refer a matter to the TMO, it must be for clear and obvious acts of foul play. For referrals in the act of scoring a try, the referee will give what they feel is the on-field decision, eg, ‘I believe the ball’s been knocked on. Can you confirm this?’. The decision will only change if clear and obvious evidence is provided by the TMO.” @FelixLongbrook Reducing the influence of the TMO, and leaving it to the referee to ask for a replay if it’s thought necessary, should speed up the game @rugbyandthelaw More power to the TMO to make calls/direct referees would improve things @Carruthers8 Frustrating that viewers and commentators spot things live on TV and TMOs cannot, even with a replay @WP_Support_Guy These refs seem to not want to use their touch or TMO when their rugby brain should be screaming to check before making up their minds