World Rugby will trial a Television Match Official (TMO) Bunker concept aimed at reducing lengthy stoppages and making correct decisions on foul play, with the system expected to be used at the men’s World Cup later this year if the trial is successful.
The concept, which is essentially a card review system, will be trialled at the World Rugby Under-20 Championship in South Africa in June.
The system will aim to prevent players from wrongly being shown a red card and they will be sent to the sin bin instead while TMOs look at replays of the incident in question.
“For any incident where a red card is not obvious, a yellow card will be issued and dedicated foul play reviewers in a central bunker review the incident using all available technology and footage,” World Rugby said in a statement.
“Once 10 minutes has elapsed, the yellow card is either upheld and the player returns to the action or it is upgraded and the player permanently leaves the field, unable to be replaced.”
However, clear and obvious red cards for foul play involving contact with the head will see players permanently removed from the game with teams unable to replace them.
“Consideration will be given to furthering the trial in the test arena ahead of Rugby World Cup 2023 in France if the trial is deemed successful and further adoption is supported by the elite rugby stakeholders,” it added.
Implementation of the system would need match officials, players, unions and competitions to support the concept.
The men’s World Cup will be held in France from September.