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An Introduction with Rod Hill

On the mark with Rod Hill     03 Mar 2017    

In a rugby context, the Bayley’s National 7’s in Rotorua and HSBC 7’s World Series in Wellington are now a distant memory as we gear up for the 2017 Investec Super Rugby Competition.

Investec Super Rugby will involve a few Global Law Trials including a focus on safer tackling actions. World Rugby have issued a directive concerning tackles that have direct contact with the ball carriers head. Quite rightly, the potential ongoing impacts of concussion to our players mean this directive is important. Whilst we all agree the game has a physical element, the welfare of players is paramount. The challenge for referees will be to achieve consistency in decision making as there is now a need to interpret the tackler’s intent and whether a high tackle could have been avoided…no easy task!

The other Law Trials see a clarification on when the ball is deemed to be in touch, scrums even when uncontested must have 8 players, no conversion of Penalty Tries. To see the full list of laws being trialled in New Zealand click here.

On the International scene High Performance Referees have been active:
man(TMO) – February games, and Ben O’Keeffe & Ben Skeen (TMO) – March Games; and
- Richard Kelly, James Doleman and Rebecca Mahoney have all been involved in recent HSBC World Sevens Series tournaments.