Sir Ian McGeechan Calls For World Rugby To Change TMO Regulations


Sir Ian McGeechan has called for World Rugby to review the Television Match Official regulations after Scotland’s controversial loss to Australia.

South African referee Craig Joubert awarded Australia a hotly disputed last minute penalty, which Bernard Foley kicked to seal a 35-34 victory over Scotland in the quarterfinal at Twickenham.

The Scot said the incident, which effectively denied Scotland a place in their first Rugby World Cup semifinal since 1991, highlights the current issues with the use of the TMO.

“The referee should be able to consult him for a penalty decision, just as he can for a try,” McGeechan said in the Daily Telegraph. And likewise, the TMO should be able to alert the referee of something he has seen regarding a penalty.”


McGeechan admitted he wasn’t full aware of the exact wording of the regulations, which means referees on the field can only refer to the TMO for reviews on tries or incidents of foul play.

“On Sunday when I was making my comments on television I thought that the referee could refer to the TMO for a penalty, just as he can for a try. Obviously the current wording of World Rugby’s directive counters that, and I am happy to admit that I was not fully aware of the precise wording.

“But I was under that impression simply because for me there is little difference between a try and a penalty in their importance. Both change the scoreboard and both therefore change the game.

“If it is a penalty from which points are obviously not going to be scored, then it is fair enough that it is left as it is. Otherwise we could have never-ending games, but if there is a chance of points, to me a penalty is just as important as a try. There are game-defining moments that are not tries and if we are to use the TMO at all we must ensure that as many decisions as possible are correct.”

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