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IRB could take charge of referees in Super14


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There is a chance that some of the world’s leading referees will start officiating the Super 14. Rugby’s leading referees bosses will decide later this month whether the International Rugby Board should employ the world’s leading referees rather than the national unions.

At present referees are chosen from SANZAR nations and IRB referees boss Paddy O’Brien has confirmed that the idea had been “bandied about for some time” as a way to increase the independence of match officials.

This comes just days after the Hurricanes were up in arms after referee Paul Marks chose not to go for the TMO when the Hurricanes were on attack and could have scored a try.

O’Brien would not commit to saying whether Marks should be dropped for his blunder at the weekend but did say that Marks should have gone to the video referee in the final act of the match.

“The bottom line is he made a mistake and should have referred it to the TMO because there was a lot happening, but that’s refereeing.” O’Brien told The Dominion Post.

SANZAR have only released the referees for the rounds up to this week and the appointments for rounds 10-12 of the Super 14 are thought to have been delayed because of Marks’ performance.

The IRB will meet in Dublin later this month and the meeting will include the referee bosses from Sanzar and the Six Nations, as well as Japan, Canada, United States and Argentina, and South Africa’s World Cup winning coach Jake White, and Wales’ Warren Gatland.

“It’s a strategic meeting that will look at where refereeing is heading for the next four years,” O’Brien said.

“We’ll discuss things like whether we need specialised touch judges and TMOs.

“And we’ll discuss whether the IRB should take over the full time employment of the referees, and that they then control games in the northern and southern hemisphere competitions.

“It’s easy to say that, but it’s a lot harder logistically. I’m not cold on the idea but I’m lukewarm.”O’Brien added.

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