SANZAR ARE CONSIDERING implementing a new ‘referee’s bunker’ to replace the TMO system in Super Rugby.
The new system, currently being trialled by the NRL in Australia, involves having a television match official in a remote location away from the stadium, with laptop technology and a direct access to as many as nine different camera angles.
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With rugby union’s current TMO system, the video referee only has access to the angles being broadcast by the TV director, and have no control of the angles shown.
With the new referee’s bunker, the off-site TMO can examine all camera angles, and deliver a judgement which is less likely to be swayed by crowd noise or TV directors.
SANZAR refereeing boss Lyndon Bray told South African TV network Super Sport that while he is examining the possibility of the new system, it will logistically be much more complicated to implement than the rugby league model.
“The NRL in Sydney have just announced a new ‘centralised bunker’ system – similar to that used already in the USA. I have been briefed on this concept and watching with interest the setting up of the bunker. Our challenge is that we cannot simply do this as per the NRL model, as our competition cuts across multiple territories & multiple broadcasters.”