World Rugby announce new TMO trial for November Tests series


Following the controversial impact of the Television Match Official throughout Super Rugby and the June Tests series, World Rugby have announced a new closed trial of the TMO throughout the November Tests that will see a revised scope the TMO can play in a match.

World Rugby announced on Thursday the trial is set to review current practice of the TMO with a look to further reduce reliance and time impact on the game.

Key principles World Rugby developed include; try scoring decision will be made by the on-field referee with the team of four able to contribute, the 'on the run' chat between match officials and TMO for foul play will be removed, while a proposal to include live broadcast of the TMO in action has been included. The list of infringements the TMO can be referred will be retained.

"World Rugby is committed to regularly reviewing our match officiating protocols to ensure that they are in the best-possible shape support accurate and consistent match official decision-making and uphold our player welfare focus without adversely impacting on the match," World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said in a statement.

"This Television Match Official review reflects that commitment and I would like to thank everyone who participated in the process and look forward to seeing the trial in practice this November."

While the 'on the run' chat has been removed, the referee will still be able to refer to the TMO for issues that are clear and obvious acts of foul play to decide on an appropriate sanction including penalty kick, yellow card or red card.

"In reviewing the current global protocol alongside the Super Rugby protocol, the group agreed that for this trial we should place greater emphasis on on-field decision-making, with the TMO role limited to try-scoring and serious foul play, while also removing the 'on-the-run' conversations between the TMO and team of three match officials", World Rugby Council Member and Rugby Committee Chairman John Jeffrey said.

"While we hope that the revised protocol will have a positive impact in terms of time impact on the game and accuracy, as with any trial, we will undertake a full review after the November window before determining whether to proceed."