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Super 12 to trial 'video official'
Wellington
February 17, 2000

The New Zealand Rugby Union announced yesterday that a trial use of video to aid referees will take place this season.

Union Chief Executive David Rutherford said the South Africa, New Zealand and Australia Rugby (SANZAR) group had also received International Rugby Board approval for video assistance for this year's competition, which starts on February 25.

"After a lot of hard work from the three SANZAR members, we now have a set of protocols that are the same for New Zealand, Australia and South Africa," Rutherford said.

The trial is for a television match official to assist the referee in making decisions in the in-goal area.

This differs from rugby league and cricket where a video referee or umpire can make a decision instead of the on-field match official but Rutherford said the referee will still be in control.

"The referee is the sole arbiter of a game. The television match official is only there to assist them in their decision making processes," Rutherford said.

"New Zealand, Australia and South Africa still believe it is the referees' responsibility to control a game and make decisions in it," he added.

The system requires two additional television cameras, one at each end of the pitch, and a radio communications link between the referee and the television match official.

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