Referees to be supported by bunker technology during World Cup warm-up Tests

Acts of foul play to be referred to a 'Foul Play Review Officer' who will determine whether a red or yellow card is merited

New Zealander Ben O'Keeffe is scheduled to referee Scotland's first summer Test against Italy on Saturday. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
New Zealander Ben O'Keeffe is scheduled to referee Scotland's first summer Test against Italy on Saturday. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

SIX NATIONS RUGBY will introduce several innovations during the upcoming Summer Nations Series aimed at supporting referees and match officials in their decision making whilst reducing hold-ups while footage of incidents are reviewed and discussed.

The new Bunker review process and Hawk-Eye will feature across 13 of the 15 games in the Series. Referees will remain the lead decision maker during games, but they will have the option to refer any foul play incident where a red card is not clear and obvious to a dedicated ‘Foul Play Review Officer’ (FPRO) situated within the Bunker and the player will leave the field of play for 10 minutes.

The FPRO will then have up to 8 minutes to review the incident using all available technology and footage, before communicating the decision to the in-play officiating team, so that the referee can either award the player a yellow card (meaning the player returns to the action following their 10-minute sin bin) or a red card (meaning the player stays off the field permanently and is not replaced).

Match officials will also benefit from Hawk-Eye technology, that will act as the independent video replay operator, to support referees and enhance accuracy of decision making.


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Meanwhile, the reintroduction of Ref Cam aims to offer broadcasters access to new angles and perspectives during live games to bring fans even closer to the action.

Following a successful trial during this year’s Guinness Six Nations, Shot Clock will be a feature of the Summer Nations Series, giving players 90 seconds to take a conversion, and 60 seconds to take a penalty kick, with the time counting down on screen in stadia and highlighted via broadcast coverage.

“Bringing the latest technology, processes and rugby focussed innovations into Six Nations Rugby competitions is a core part of helping drive the collective growth of the game,” said Julie Paterson, Director of Rugby at Six Nations Rugby.

 

“The likes of the Bunker Trial and Hawk-Eye will offer even more support to match officials and the decisions they make in the heat of a live match environment.

“For fans, we want to bring them as close to the action as possible, and innovations like Shot Clock and Ref Cam can do this. Everyone in the game wants to keep developing and pushing new initiatives, and the Summer Nations Series offers a great opportunity to deliver in this area.”

Scotland kick off their summer schedule at home against Italy this Saturday.


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About David Barnes 3816 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.

2 Comments

  1. The use of the ten minute yellow card period to review an incident to see if the punishment should be upgraded to a red card is a very sensible idea to speed up the game whilst at the same time giving officials more time tio reach the correct decision.

    It does of course require competent officials.

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