Refs to make own TMO calls

George Clancy will ref the Australia-South Africa game in Brisbane (File)
George Clancy will ref the Australia-South Africa game in Brisbane (File)
Cape Town - A modification has been made to the Television Match Official (TMO) protocol as it will operate in the Rugby Championship from Saturday.

The new rule empowers the match referee to make his own ‘TMO calls’ from the stadium’s big screen.

Up until now, referees were permitted to make only foul play decisions based on their viewing of the big screen.

But from Saturday they will be permitted to make all decisions relating to the current TMO protocol from the big screen. This recommendation was made by a meeting of the IRB's Law Review Group in Dublin earlier this week.

The TMO remains in place but provides the back up for all decisions as and when the referee is unable to make a relevant decision from the big screen - such as when the screen is obscured, of poor quality or environmental conditions (sunlight etc) make it difficult to read.

The process change does not in any way change what the referee can refer to the TMO and, therefore, there will be no difference to the decisions made via the technology. 

The rule will only apply in the Rugby Championship and not in the Currie Cup.

Saturday's matches in the Rugby Championship see the All Blacks host Argentina in Hamilton (09:35 SA time) and the Wallabies tackle the Springboks in Brisbane (12:05 SA time.)
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