World Rugby’s head of match officials, Joel Jutge, says that they are thinking about using “orange cards” at the upcoming Rugby World Cup in France. These cards would be a new addition and are still under consideration.
The idea is akin to the TMO Foul Play Process being trialled in Super Rugby Pacific, which could be fast-tracked for France 2023.
The upcoming Rugby Championship could feature the process as part of the trial, and World Rugby could fully implement it for the Rugby World Cup later this year.
It allows for players to be given a red card for instances of foul play. However, the referee has the option of issuing a yellow that can then be upgraded to red on review by the TMO.
It is an initiative to speed up the game and reduce the number of on-field replays of incidents, while also dealing with contentious decisions, such as the dismissal of England’s Freddie Steward against Ireland last month.
Referee Jaco Peyper controversially sent off the England full-back for a dangerous challenge on Hugo Keenan during the March 18 Six Nations encounter in Dublin.
However, the red card was subsequently rescinded by a disciplinary panel.
“This is an operation being tested in Super Rugby,” World Rugby’s Joel Jutge told Midi Olympique.
“In the event of a 50-50 decision, the referee has the possibility of giving a yellow card so that the game can resume as soon as possible, while the TMO has 10 minutes of temporary expulsion to decide whether this should be turned into a permanent expulsion.
“We would give orange cards, clearly.”
Example of the TMO Foul Play Process implementation
The Reds’ clash with the Brumbies provided an excellent example of the system’s use.
In the ninth minute of the match, Brumbies wing Corey Toole kicked the ball from inside his own half and was tackled by Reds’ lock Angus Blyth.
Blyth made contact with Toole’s head, and after a quick review, referee Ben O’Keeffe issued a yellow card to Blyth for the incident.
🟥 ICYMI: Angus Blyth had his yellow card upgraded to a red by TMO for this challenge on Corey Toole.#SuperRugbyPacificpic.twitter.com/AR8OSVO4P3
— Planet Rugby (@PlanetRugby) April 8, 2023
However, the TMO upgraded it to a red card within the eight-minute time limit.
Blyth was suspended for three weeks for his action by the disciplinary panel.
Super Rugby Pacific’s TMO Foul Play Process
The current Super Rugby Pacific TMO Foul Play Process states the following: “Any incident of foul play that contains dangerous actions, that is adjudicated at a Yellow Card level on field will automatically be reviewed by the TMO during the 10 minute period the player is off the field.
The TMO will follow existing laws and law application guidelines for specific incidents to determine the correct sanction for the incident.
The possible sanctions are:
– Yellow card sanction in which the player is entitled to return at the conclusion of the 10 minute period; or
– Red card sanction in which the player would be removed from the match but would be permitted to be replaced after 20 minutes from the time of the incident.
The TMO will inform the match officials of their decision no later than eight minutes into the 10-minute review period to provide teams sufficient time to make any adjustments needed and for the player to be able to prepare to re-enter the match in the case of a yellow card.
Any incident of foul play that does not contain dangerous actions but is adjudicated at a yellow card sanction (eg. technical infringements, repeated team infringements) would not be subject to a review.
Any player who receives two yellow card sanctions during a match, will receive a red card sanction in which the player would be removed from the match but would be permitted to be replaced after 20 minutes from the time of the second yellow card incident.
READ MORE: Rugby World Cup 2023: What stadiums will host 2023 RWC in France?
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