Cape Town - Former South African Test referee Jonathan Kaplan has called for the introduction of an on-field 'captain's challenge' to overturn wrong decisions by officials.
Kaplan shared his views via a column for UK-based The Telegraph where he was responding to an incident during this past weekend's Six Nations match between Ireland and Scotland in Dublin.
According to Kaplan, French referee referee Mathieu Raynal erred when he penalised Ireland after their flank Josh van der Flier ripped the ball from Scotland No 8 Nick Haining, despite the latter having played the ball on the ground after a tackle.
Ireland won the game 19-12, but Kaplan believes it could have impacted the outcome.
"In the end it came to nothing but it could have been a huge moment in the game - potentially a 10-point swing if Scotland had scored a converted try from great field position - and one which was obviously an incorrect call after a single replay," Kaplan wrote.
Kaplan added: "That is why I would like each captain to be given one challenge per half to contest on-field decisions made by the referee. It would work similarly to cricket’s challenge system, which I feel has worked well for a long time. If your challenge is not upheld then you lose it, but if the decision is overturned then you retain it so you can use it again later in the game."
A similar system to Kaplan's idea has been trialled in South Africa's Varsity Cup, where a captain or coach uses a white card to review a referee's decision, with one review per half allowed.
- Compiled by Herman Mostert