The TMO Bunker system will be tested in South Africa


A yellow card review system designed to speed up refereeing deliberations will be trialled by World Rugby at the upcoming World Rugby U20 Championship in South Africa in June.

World Rugby has confirmed that it will test the Television Match Official (TMO) Bunker concept with “the potential to reduce lengthy stoppages and promote accurate decision-making for foul play.”

Related: ‘Orange card’ could feature at Rugby World Cup

The system is currently being trialled in Super Rugby Pacific and the game’s governing body listed three principles for its trial:

  1. Clear and obvious red cards for foul play involving contact with the head will receive a red card resulting in the player being permanently being removed from the game and unable to be replaced
  2. 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
  3. 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

An orange card had been talked about but there will not be one used in the trial, with a normal yellow card issued before the the footage is retrospectively assessed.

World Rugby confirmed that if the trial is a success it will consider further use in the Test matches before the Rugby World Cup, suggesting there is a real chance that it could be used in the tournament in France that starts on 8 September.

Read more: Rugby World Cup 2023 fixtures

It also confirmed that it would continue to consult with the game’s stakeholders around the move and World Rugby underlined its openness to “to innovations or technology that have the potential to assist officiating, enhance game flow and advance welfare.”

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