The Pro12 this weekend will be at the centre of a new revolutionary video technology being trialled ahead of the World Cup later this year.
World Rugby, formerly known as the International Rugby Board, is collaborating with Hawk-Eye Innovations, Rugby World Cup 2015 host broadcaster ITV and Sky Sports to trial video review technology.
The trial will debut on Saturday at the Scarlets’ home match with Munster in Llanelli in partnership with Pro12 Rugby, while further trials will take place in the league and at the World Rugby Under-20 Championship in Italy.
The idea is to determine how new technology can enhance player welfare, while strengthening the accuracy and efficiency of the television match official (TMO) decision-making process.
While the protocol will be unchanged relating to the questions the referee asks of the TMO, the technology the video official will have available to is being enhanced with access to simultaneous multiple angle replays in real-time and slow motion delivered by Hawk-Eye’s ‘SMART Replay’ technology.
This is already being used by a number of sports including baseball, athletics, horseracing, football, badminton, volleyball and Australian rules football.
The technology works by recording all broadcast angles in real time and making this content available immediately. The player welfare is especially relevant in Wales where George North controversially suffered two blows to the head against England in the Six Nations opener and Cardiff Blues flanker Rory Watts-Jones was yesterday forced to announce his retirement because on concussion related injuries.
Read more on Wales Online.