2012 22/02
Referees can issue white card at Super 15 tournament

Rugby referees will be able to issue a white card to players for the first time ever at this year's Super 15 tournament.

The white card will signify that the referee suspects an infringement but is unable to identify the player at fault. The New Zealand Herald reports that once it has been shown, it will allow a citing commissioner to view video footage of the match and help the referee make the correct decision.

Considering the compact nature of the game and the fact all teams are wearing the same rugby jumpers, it can sometimes prove difficult for referees to spot which player is guilty of serious foul play.

Both the International Rugby Board (IRB) and South Africa, New Zealand and Australia Rugby (SANZAR) have been trying to address this issue for some time.

Andrew Lees, who will be refereeing at this year's tournament, claimed that the white card could help to further rid the game of ill discipline.

Speaking to Yahoo! Sport, he said: "I think it will assist us in removing incidents from the game that the IRB and SANZAR are trying to remove and clean up the game in terms of foul play.

"That (new system) makes it a bit clearer for the public, who in the past may not have known things are going to the citing commissioner. We're just making the process a bit more transparent to the public eye." 

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