The NRL will trial in-goal judges and additional touch judges in Saturday night’s Charity Shield between South Sydney and St George Illawarra at ANZ Stadium.
NRL Referees Elite Performance Manager Tony Archer said trials would be held over the next two weekends involving in-goal judges and four touch judges.
In Saturday night’s clash between the Rabbitohs and the Dragons, referees Adam Devcich and Dave Munro will have the support of two additional touch judges as well as in-goal judges at either end of the field.
In next Friday night’s Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars at Gold Coast’s Cbus Super Stadium, in-goal judges will be used without the additional touch judges. Meanwhile on the same weekend, officials will also use four touch judges without the in-goal judges in a trial setting.
Mr Archer said he would then assess the success of the trials over the three separate matches following next weekend.
“It is always important to trial new procedures and the next two weekends present us with a good opportunity to do that,” Mr Archer said. “I will be seeking feedback from the officials as well as the teams and of course studying footage of the games to gauge the success of the trials.
“We will then be in a position to make a decision about whether any of the changes require further consideration.
“We are always looking to improve our processes and while there is never a guarantee that we will do that it is important that we keep trying.”
Mr Archer said the in-goal judges had the potential to allow the referees to make a more informed live decision, which might reduce the need for a video referral.
The four touch judges aimed to ensure that two officials were always in line with all passes, and that the 10-metre defensive line was more thoroughly monitored from the sideline, Mr Archer said.
Throw your support behind your Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium this Saturday night, when they take on the Dragons in the 32nd Annual Charity Shield at 7:35pm! Be part of the story as your men in red and green return to their home for the first time since winning the 2014 NRL Premiership!