Hawk-Eye technology considered for rugby's offside problem
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: The replay technology used for tight calls in tennis and cricket is being considered as an antidote to the insidious creep of offside infringements in Rugby Union.
World Rugby vice-chairman Agustin Pichot wants the offside line moved back to create more space for attack and believes Hawk-Eye technology would be the best way to enforce it.
Pichot, who has built his reputation on innovative thinking, says attractive rugby is stifled by teams constantly transgressing the offside line at the breakdown, where players are meant to keep behind the rear foot until the ball is cleared.
While numerous sports have adopted Hawk-Eye in various forms to police rules, Pichot said NFL’s use is the most relevant to rugby.
“We have the technology so let’s use it as they do in NFL,” Pichot told The Telegraph newspaper in the UK.
“The referee has too much to do working out what is going on at the ruck, while the touch judges have a string of 12 players right across the pitch to judge on.
“Within five games, players will know that Hawk-Eye is watching and will stay back. We have seen at this World Cup that the space is at a premium. It is too defensive for my liking.”
Former Pumas halfback Pichot has proposed moving the offside line two metres back to combat rush defences.