IRFU back video ref initiative
THE IRFU have welcomed moves to extend the role of television match officials (TMOs) if the increased powers make the referee's job easier, writes Hugh Farrelly .
Referees manager Paddy O'Brien has announced that the IRB are looking at increasing the influence of TMOs to include reviews of the build-up to tries and adjudication "across the whole field".
O'Brien said that the IRB are planning trial experiments on extending the TMOs' role in two, as yet un-named, professional competitions next year, one in the northern hemisphere and one in the south.
"The TMO, under the trial, will be able to push a button and say to the ref, 'don't award the try yet, I'm going to look at something for you'," said O'Brien. "It is unfair when a referee awards a try when you at home know the guy had a foot out on halfway."
The IRFU said yesterday that they are in favour of any move designed to make refereeing easier, saying: "The IRFU are open to any discussions regarding extending the use of TMOs -- irrespective of incidents in matches Ireland have been involved in -- and any moves which seek to clarify and make the referee's job easier, if that is the case at the end of the process."
Meanwhile, it is understood that Paul McNaughton is considering whether he will continue on as Ireland team manager, a position he has held since 2008, although no decision has been taken.