World Rugby have approved a closed trial revising the scope of the Television Match Official (TMO) in the November tests hosted by Tier one unions.
Confirmation of the trial comes after a full review of the current global trial and the variant used in Super Rugby by a working group of match officials, coaches, players and administrators.
The key objective of the review was to review current practice with a view to further reduce TMO reliance and time impact.
— World Rugby (@WorldRugby) October 3, 2018
A number of issues in relation to the use of the TMO were agreed upon, including:
1. Try scoring should be an on-field decision with the referee being responsible, but the team of four can all contribute.
2. The current list of potential infringements for which a TMO can be referred will be retained, but any referral needs to be prompt, clear and consistent.
3. The ‘on the run’ chat between the match officials and TMO for foul play will be removed with the onus on the referee, who should only refer to the TMO issues that are clear and obvious serious acts of foul play, including penalty kick, yellow card or red card as a potential sanction in order to protect player welfare.
4. Match officials can review foul play up to when the game restarts, when a penalty is kicked to touch and when foul play footage becomes available.
5. Proposal to include live broadcast of the TMO in action.
World Rugby has also issued a law application guideline reinforcing current law for match officials in relation to high tackles and neck contact. An amendment to Law 9 (9.26) has been introduced with immediate effect relating to lowering players to the ground safely in open play.