John Jeffrey, chairman of World Rugby's match official selection committee, defends the use of TMOs in the opening World Cup matches
World Rugby’s match official committee are looking at ways to cut down on time spent referring decisions to the Television Match Official (TMO), but it’s chairman insists the technology is invaluable.
Several referees were criticised for their handling of video replays in the World Cup’s first round of matches, with the opening game between England and Fiji running longer than 100 minutes after numerous referrals upstairs.
World Rugby’s Match Officials selection committee chairman John Jeffrey said in a press release that correct calls are needed to protect the game’s integrity, but admitted work was needed to reduce the delay to the game.
“The TMO is a part of the match official team and the fantastic technology available is a tool to be used in the making of key decisions during matches,” he explained.
“The TMO process is used to make sure the correct calls are made to protect the integrity of the game.
“It’s worth noting that just 28 per cent of stoppage time in the opening match of this Rugby World Cup was taken up by the TMO process but we are committed to reducing that time further while not compromising on accuracy.
“As such, all involved – referees, TMOs, technicians and television producers – are working together to achieve that.”