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New rugby ball invented with built-in referee

Northampton pile over with the last play of the season and Dylan Hartley thinks they have scored ... after a long delay the try was awarded and with it the title, Saracens v Northampton Saints, Aviva Premiership final, Twickenham, May 31, 2014 Getty Images

Scientists in American have developed a rugby ball that will allow referees to determine whether a try has been scored even if it is under a pile of players.

The new ball has a transmitter fitted which will send a signal to antennas on the side of the field via low-frequency magnetic fields. These allow the ball's movements to be monitored and referees will know its precise location, something that will help them make calls over whether a ball has been grounded or not.

At present the technology is focused on use in American Football but Dr David Ricketts, who is spearheading the team from North Carolina State University and Carnegie Mellon University, believes it could be used in rugby in the future.

"This would work in rugby, as well as other sports - it's just a matter of designing the right transmitter and making it robust for the specific sport," Dr Ricketts told the Daily Mail. "Low frequency magnetic fields don't interact very strongly with the human body, so they are not affected by the players on the field or the stadium environment. This is part of what makes our new approach effective."