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'Smart ball' to be used at World Rugby U20 Cup

beacons positioned around the pitch to determine the exact position of the ball

Smart ball technology will be used for the first time in a live match officiating capacity during the World Rugby Under-20 Championship in South Africa next month.

The ball will be tracked in 3D and real-time with beacons positioned around the pitch to determine the exact position of the ball up to 20 times per second.

This enables officials to be provided with immediate feedback on every kick, pass and throw, World Rugby says.

Areas the trial will cover include whether a ball has been passed forward, whether the ball is over the try-line, whether the ball has been touched in flight, where touch has been found and whether a line-out throw was straight.

A direct feed will be made available to the television match official, who will use information to inform the referee.

It is not anticipated the smart ball will be used at Rugby World Cup in France later this year .

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