Rugby - IRB approve extended TMO trial

The International Rugby Board has approved a global trial in which television match officials will be given a more inclusive role from next season.

PA Sport
Rugby - IRB approve extended TMO trial
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The IRB are keen to offer more assistance to officials by using technology

TMOs are currently only involved in plays involving tries but may be asked to rule on possible foul play as well as reviewing up to two phases before the ball is grounded for a try in both domestic and international matches.

The implementation follows trials of "extended TMO protocol variants" in England's Aviva Premiership and South Africa's Absa Currie Cup, both of which were deemed "highly successful" by the independent IRB Laws Representative Group.

An evaluation of the trial will be conducted in May 2014, when the changes could be ratified permanently.

IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: "Rugby continues to evolve and innovate and there is no doubt that rugby referees have one of the toughest officiating roles in sport.

"We are committed to ensuring that they have all the tools they require from conditioning, management and technology to ensure that they can perform to the highest possible standards."

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