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Super Rugby to bring in White Card for offences


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Article Published: Tuesday 21 February 2012


Super Rugby referees believe that the addition of a new white card will help to take pressure off them and to help remove foul play from the game.

A new initiative will be launched in this year's Super Rugby tournament in which a white card can allow referees to refer alleged incidents like biting and gouging to a citing commissioner that on-field officials might not have seen.

"The white card will be helpful in instances where a referee thinks an act of foul play has occurred but is not sure if a red card is warranted, or is unsure of the identity of a player," says SANZAR Game Manager, Lyndon Bray.

"It will also help get to the bottom of instances where a player makes a complaint to a referee who did not see an incident."

Australian referee Andrew Lees is backing the addition of the white card as he feels it will help to clean up the game.

"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," referee Andrew Lees said.

"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." said Lees.

Another referee, Ian Smith told AAP that he did not think that the white card would lead to a reduction in yellow cards which result in a player leaving the field for 10 minutes.

"But it gives us another resource that we can use for an item that may not meet a red-card threshold," Smith said.

Waratahs coach Michael Foley has supported the introduction of the white card and said, "I think anything that helps tidy up that judicial process, makes it slicker, is a good thing."

"I see only positives in it," he said.

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