TMO caught on hot mic appearing to not review incident after it was highlighted by Austin Healey

Owen Farrell
Owen Farrell

The Television Match Official in Saracens’ win over Harlequins appeared to be caught on a hot mic saying he would not review an incident because it would look like he was only doing so after it was highlighted by TNT Sports pundit Austin Healey.

The TMO, Stuart Terheege, appeared to go on to say “Don’t show it” when TNT Sports went on to broadcast a replay of the incident.

The comments were broadcast live on the channel after Harlequins’ Stephan Lewies made a clearout on Saracens’ Owen Farrell off the ball late in the latter’s 52-7 win at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Farrell reacted angrily and, as the confrontation came to an end, a voice that is believed to Terheege’s could be heard over the TV broadcast asking for a replay to see what had caused it.

Healey at the same moment said on commentary: “I think six slides into the ruck really late with both of his knees. Where he hits Farrell could be really interesting.”

As the camera cut away to Farrell preparing to take the conversion, Terheege could then be heard over the broadcast speaking, presumably, to referee Christophe Ridley.

“The problem I have got now of course is it looks like Healey has instigated it, yeah?” Terheege said. A pause followed, presumably while the referee replied to the TMO, before Terheege said: “Yeah, mate, the problem I have got now is that it looks like Austin has instigated it, because we’re late, so I don’t want to talk about it, OK?” Farrell then proceeded to successfully take the conversion from the touchline.

TNT Sports then showed another replay of the incident after the conversion when Terheege, with his microphone still heard by the broadcast, shouting “Oh come on, don’t show it because it...” before he then stopped either because his microphone was cut off or having realised he was still being broadcast over the television feed.

Paul McNamara, ITV’s senior live director for major events, noted in an interview with Telegraph Sport earlier this week how the TMO sits next to the TV director in the broadcast truck, with the commentary feed to the truck cut during any deliberation over key decisions so the TMO cannot be influenced.

Premiership Rugby said in a statement: “Premiership Rugby will review all incidents and follow the same process followed every week.” Telegraph Sport has also contacted the Rugby Football Union and TNT Sports for comment.

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