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Former Wallabies called up to give a player's perspective at hearings

Date

Georgina Robinson

Recruited by SANZAR ... Matt Dunning.

Recruited by SANZAR ... Matt Dunning. Photo: Steve Christo

MATT DUNNING is among four former Wallabies recruited by SANZAR to advise judicial officers on dangerous tackles and other citable offences.

In an effort to improve the process and produce more consistent penalties for in-game offences, SANZAR will call on Dunning and former Wallabies Steve Kefu, David Croft and John Langford, as well as 11 other former players across South Africa and New Zealand, for expert advice on cases brought before full hearings.

Just a few days out from the start of the Super Rugby season, SANZAR chief Greg Peters said it would be compulsory for judicial officers to consult a nominated former player in the course of their deliberations.

''It will enable the judicial officer to have an adviser sitting with him who's played the game in the professional era and can provide advice on the more technical aspects of submissions mounted by players during the hearing,'' Peters said. ''If, for example, there was an issue about clearing out at the ruck and an argument was mounted by the player that he was coached to do it that way, the judicial officer could call on the advice of the former player sitting with him to see if the argument is accurate.''

SANZAR came under fire last year for wildly inconsistent rulings. In one instance Springbok Dean Greyling was handed a two-week suspension for a heavy strike on the jaw of Richie McCaw, while his teammate Eben Etzebeth was given the same sentence after trying and failing to land a headbutt on Wallabies lock Nathan Sharpe.

Peters said the former players would be used only in cases that go to full hearings - such as the alleged eye-gouging incident between Rebels lock Adam Byrnes and Waratahs centre Tom Carter last year - and not the first time the case is heard, at which point a player may enter a guilty plea.

The provision could be particularly useful if a player is accused of making a dangerous tackle, as was the case in the final regular round of last season when Reds five-eighth Quade Cooper appeared to make a high tackle on Waratahs playmaker Berrick Barnes. Cooper pleaded not guilty and was subsequently given a one-match ban after a full hearing, meaning he missed the Reds' sudden-death match against the Sharks a week later. Under the new rules, a former player would act as a consultant for the judicial officer.

Peters said the players had been nominated by the relevant country's player association and SANZAR would avoid appointing a former player to a case if they had any prior involvement or alignment with the accused athlete or club. Just a few days out from the start of the new season, Peters also confirmed the role of the television match official had been expanded to allow them to rule on incidents up to two phases before a try was scored.

''Previously the TMO couldn't rule on anything but the grounding of the ball over the try line when a try was scored,'' Peters said.

The rules are part of a season-long global trial, starting in the SANZAR conferences first, with a view to the 2015 World Cup.

HuffPost Australia

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG -1vs FJI -1 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 0 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tonga 0 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Romania 0 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0 0
Georgia 0 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Fiji 0 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Namibia 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
 

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