World Rugby has endorsed the process and according to SANZAAR it represents an enhancement to an important part of the tournament that will provide improved consistency and efficient decision-making.
Central to the amendments in 2017 is the formation of the foul play review committee, which will be comprised of a consistent panel of three members who in the first instance will review all incidents of red cards, citing commissioner referrals and misconduct and make a determination based on the information.
SANZAAR has appointed senior judicial officer Nigel Hampton QC (New Zealand) to chair the committee. He will be assisted by Terblanche, who is also the CEO of the SA Rugby Legends Association, and former Wallaby and Brumbies lock John Langford from Australia.
The committee will meet at a fixed time to be determined at the conclusion of each round and the infringing player will have the ability to accept the decision of the committee or have the right to be heard at a formal judicial hearing within the following 24 hours.
In the determination of an incident and the handing down of any sanctions, the committee will now have the ability to exclude any regular season Vodacom Super Rugby byes as part of a meaningful sanction. This means, for example, a three-week suspension means a player will miss three Vodacom Super Rugby matches – byes or matches in other competitions are excluded from the sanction.
Andy Marinos CEO of SANZAAR said: “The new process is the result of the identification of certain challenges within the application of an effective and consistent judicial process. It has followed a comprehensive review of Super Rugby 2016 and a consultation process with the Four National Unions (ARU, NZR, SA Rugby and UAR). The changes also follow World Rugby’s acceptance, following a judicial review conference last year that competition organisers be allowed to tailor judicial processes to suit the challenges associated within their competitions.
“SANZAAR believes Super Rugby has unique challenges across six territories and 15 time zones and the enhanced Super Rugby judicial process will deliver a more streamlined and effective system for teams and a more consistent outcome for players and fans to identify with.”