Rugby is looking to expand the use of the TMO, trialling two systems in England and South Africa.
England's premier domestic competition will provide the backdrop for an extended protocol that will now allow the TMO to be consulted on potential infringements prior to a try being scored and potential acts of foul play.
A different set of protocols will be used in the Currie Cup, South Africa's famous provincial championship.
The English trial will see the current scope of the TMO extended to include the review of any aspect of play prior to the ball being grounded while the referee may also call on the TMO to include incidents of potential foul play.
The South African trial will be more restricted in what the TMO can be called upon to review while still providing additional scope to the current protocol.
The IRB will then decide which one gets a global trial after consulting unions, players and match officials in reviewing the two systems. This won't happen until November next year.
Under current rules the TMO can only adjudicate on in-goal action during try-scoring movements.
The English Premiership will also trial a "Pitch Side Concussion Assessment" system.
If the referee or team doctor suspects a player has suffered concussion, a five-minute window will be allowed to assess the individual off the field.
If concussion is confirmed, the player will not be allowed to return to the field and the temporary substitution will become permanent.
- Reuters and Fairfax NZ
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