RFU to trial ref-cam in Championship fixture
Last updated on .From the section Rugby Union
The Rugby Football Union is trialling a "ref-cam" during the televised Championship game between Newcastle Falcons and London Scottish on Sunday.
Match official Matt Carley will have a camera attached to his shirt to show close-ups of on-the-field action.
"It offers a new perspective for viewers," said head of professional referee development Ed Morrison.
"It will also provide us with an additional tool which can be utilised within the development of referees."
Referees at televised matches are already connected to microphones which keep the dialogue between players and officials open to all.
Likewise, in both union and league codes of rugby, cameras are located in dressing rooms to give viewers an insight behind the scenes, but this is the closest the sport has come to bringing an insight at pitch level.
"I don't know whether I like it. They're bringing all these things in to improve the viewers' experience. It's going to be something different," Newcastle Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards told BBC Newcastle.
"It's something we have to be mindful of. It's a high-pressure game with a few thousand people here.
"When you get so close to the action it's a different experience to at a distance. I'm nervous about it."
The game will be shown live on Sky Sports 3 at 15:00 GMT on Sunday.
It also would help those in the crowd (70m away & at an odd angle) that the ref, who is 4 ft away & in line with play, made the correct call.
What we don't want is extreme stop/start.
The greater and greater emphasis on "win at all cost" by coaches and management means the officials need eyes in the back of their heads, not on the front of shirts!
I can see this taking time to get right but in a couple of years we will probably get to like it.
if anything i would want 4 touch judges instead of 2, so they only have to cover half the distance.
this ref cam seems like a good training tool, but other than that a bit of a tv gimmick.
Perhaps they should fit a camera on the back of the ref's head so that the viewer can see the defending side encroaching offside and all the other shenanigans that goes on behind his back.
A good Christmas theme...IT'S BEHIND YOU!