Neutral television match officials (TMOs) will be appointed to test matches from August, the International Rugby Board has announced.
Debuting with Australia versus New Zealand in The Rugby Championship in Sydney on August 17, the team of four match officials appointed by the IRB will all be independent of the two participating Unions.
Current policy stipulates neutral selections for referees and assistant referees for test matches but not the TMO, recognising geographical and economic challenges of a global Game.
However, with TMO responsibilities having been extended on a trial basis to review up to two phases (rucks or mauls) before the ball is grounded in the act of scoring and potential acts of foul play, the IRB undertook an extensive review of this important area of match officiating.
The full list of match officials can be found here.
IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “International Rugby is our shop window and it is important that we constantly collaborate with major Rugby stakeholders to invest in and deliver best-practice officiating for the Game’s showcase events.”
“This landmark policy change is a result of a holistic and detailed review of the TMO role in light of the additional responsibilities as a result of the trial implementation of extended powers of the TMO in international Rugby, including reviewing potential acts of foul play.”
“The neutral policy further enhances integrity and reduces pressure on the person tasked with this important role while ensuring that we continue to promote and appoint our very best TMOs to test matches.”
- Monday 1 September 2014 - South America
Colombia start with big win in South America
- Monday 1 September 2014 - Junior World Rugby Trophy
Namibia qualify for Junior World Trophy 2015
- Monday 1 September 2014 - Olympics
Rio 2016 calls for Rugby volunteers
- Monday 1 September 2014 - RWC 2015
Too Big To Miss
- Friday 29 August 2014 - Women's RWC 2014
Ensuring an Impact Beyond WRWC 2014
- 02 September - Ollie Phillips sailing
- 01 September - Robins Tchale-Watchou profile
- 31 August - Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour - South Africa
- 30 August - Gilbert's new ball for Rugby World Cup 2015
- 29 August - CEO Brett Gosper on the name change from 'IRB' to 'World Rugby'
- 29 August - Feature on Argentina's Manuel Montero
- Listen to this week's Total Rugby show
- 25 August - Bhubesi Pride takes rugby to children across Africa
- 25 August - Argentina legend Hugo Porta on his career
- 24 August - (FUN) England's Women talk about what makes them tick