Trials for ‘Hawkeye’ as TMO Criticism Rises

Technology company Hawkeye is in talks about providing a replacement to the television match official system in rugby.

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Hawkeye, could be used in time for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Hawkeye founder Paul Hawkins said: “We are in conversation with Premiership Rugby and the IRB.”

The IRB is going to carry out a trial of the TMO system until August and a spokesperson said: “The TMO is under a process of continual evaluation to promote clear, consistent and accurate decision-making while keeping game-time impact minimal.”

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Hawkeye can provide decisions within a few seconds by synchronising cameras from multiple angles.

Computer tracking would be used to provide information about whether the ball had crossed the line, although it would still be possible to use video replays to judge whether the ball had been grounded.

Hawkins said: “Our system is a much cleverer way of looking at incidents. In Aussie rules, we have halved the average time for decisions to be made.

“Premiership Rugby and the IRB are aware of our products. We hope of course they will be there for next season and it would be great if we were there for the World Cup.”

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The Hawkeye system is likely to be more expensive than the current TMO system, which uses the existing TV feeds.

A Premiership Rugby spokesman said: “We are constantly looking at ways to improve the TMO process to help our match officials and although we have spoken to Hawkeye we have no plans to use it at the moment.”

The proposed trial is in response to the increased criticism it has received in the past few months, most notably after the TMO controversies of the Premiership Final.

The International Rugby Board would not confirm any talks with Hawkeye.

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