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Super Rugby match officials getting ready too

Referees game manager Lyndon Bray

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Article Published: Friday 24 January 2014|

Just as all of the Super Rugby teams have started their pre-season Super Rugby training the referees and match officials got together earlier this week and were put through their paces.

The 2014 Super Rugby season kicks off in less than a month and the match officials have been at their annual get-together in Sydney and making sure that they are fit enough to keep up with the players.

"They're building travel plans, recovery plans, nutrition. Five years ago a lot of that didn't happen in this environment, especially not to this level of professionalism," referees game manager Lyndon Bray told 3News.

Fitness is a big part of their testing but they are also tested for agility and reviewing what did and didn't work well last season.

"The two major issues that we're dealing with at this camp is around getting the tackle more consistent, we think we did a lot of good work at the scrum last year in a Super Rugby context," said Bray.

"So (we're focusing on) the tackle, getting alignment and secondly the way our team of four operates," Bray says.

Bray said that in 2014 referees will be looking to use the big screen more for their decisions and the trial is still underway with the TMOs amid concerns that the game is being slowed down too much as it can go back too many phases.

The 2014 Match Officials who will come from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina can only get together once a year as in two weeks time they will be on the road until December.

"It's important we all bind to the same process. It's important for the teams, it's important for us and it's important for the competition," says referee Stu Berry.

Bray said that there will be two new faces in the 18 strong squad of match officials.

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