White card set for Test debut?

2012-03-13 12:27
White card (File)
Sydney - The white card concept could be extended to the Rugby Championship this season if the International Rugby Board gives the green light.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald website, SANZAR has dramatically revamped the Super Rugby judicial system in the hope of getting consistency in citing, sentencing and at hearings. It includes the use of a white card, when referees suspect foul play but didn't see the incident or are unsure of the culprit.

The card alerts the citing commissioner to view the incident and check whether it requires judicial action. Citing commissioners can also issue off-field yellow cards, while players can also take an early guilty plea, which involves a lighter ban.

There is interest in using the same system for the new southern hemisphere Rugby Championship between Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina, which begins in August when the Wallabies play the All Blacks in Sydney.

But it will depend on the IRB council deciding at its May meeting to allow organisers of international events, such as SANZAR, to implement their own rule variations - including a revamped citing system.

SANZAR chief executive Greg Peters has just returned from IRB meetings in London, where the Super Rugby judicial systems were discussed at a conference revolving around foul play regulations.

Peters said one aim of the conference was to ''look for flexibility for tournament organisers to arrange processes that suited their own environments''. For an international event, SANZAR required the IRB ''to provide the flexibility to be allowed to bring in their own rules''.

Peters said that while the white card was still being trialled, he had been encouraged by how referees had used it in the first three Super Rugby rounds. There were originally concerns some referees might use the white card as a way of avoiding the hard decision on giving a player either a yellow or red card.

''I believe how it has been used has been good and I don't think to date we've seen referees abrogate their responsibility to deal with foul play,'' Peters said.

''If that was the case, we've got a mechanism, under the referee review system, where we can tell the referee if they keep doing that, they won't get appointments.''


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