16 May 2012

TMO to finally examine build-up to a try

7:57 am on 16 May 2012

The video referee will have greater scope to examine possible infringements in the leadup to a try as the International Rugby Board goes ahead with trials of potential rule changes from next season.

Rugby fans will be hoping the officials will soon be able to rule on infringements that should rule the try out - such as the forward pass by France in the matchwinning score that knocked the All Blacks out of the 2007 World Cup.

A specific trial will take place at an elite competition so that a protocol can be developed for the November tests this year.

A trial has also been sanctioned for the November window permitting international teams to nominate up to eight replacements in the match day squad for Test matches. The additional player must be a qualified front row player

Five rule changes will be trialled, include time limits on the ball being held in the back of a ruck, and on conversion attempts.

The rule changes to be tested include teams having to use the ball within five seconds of it being made available at the back of a ruck following a warning from the referee to "use it", or a scrum will be called.

A conversion kick must be completed within a minute and 30 seconds from the time that a try has been awarded.

The other amendments involve quick throw ins, knock-ons and lineouts.

With quick throw ins, the player may be anywhere outside the field of play between the line of touch and the player's goal line.

When the ball goes into touch from a knock-on, the non-offending team will be offered the choice of a lineout at the point the ball crossed the touch line; or a scrum at the place of the knock-on. The non-offending team may exercise this option by taking a quick throw-in.

And a team awarded a penalty or a free kick at a lineout may choose a further lineout, in addition to the scrum option.