Eagle-eyed views may have spotted some extra headgear being sported on the field in today’s Saracens v Leicester match in England’s Aviva Premiership.
For the first time, the Assistant Referees joined the video fray by wearing head-mounted cameras.
In a partnership between Premiership Rugby, BT Sport and the RFU, the cameras were used at Allianz Park by Craig Maxwell-Keys and Paul Dix (pictured above), primarily as an education tool to help fans understand the game better and get closer to the action.
“We are always trying to innovate within Aviva Premiership Rugby,” said Phil Winstanley the Rugby Director at Premiership Rugby. “And in the RFU and BT Sport we have two great partners who share our vision for the sport.
“As everyone knows rugby is a complicated sport so any tools we can give to our broadcast partners to help them educate the public about the intricacies of the game must be a good thing.
“Referees in Aviva Premiership Rugby have been using the chest-mounted cameras for a while so this is a natural extension for our assistant referees. This is only a trial so we will assess its impact and use over the summer.”
It is also thought that the technology could be used as part of the AR Development process as this is the first time that match official coaches/managers will be able to determine what and where an AR may be looking at at any point during the game. One to keep an eye on.