Manufacturers Gilbert have developed a "smart" rugby ball with Sportable to be given trials next month ©Getty Images

World Rugby is to give a first trial to "smart ball" technology at the World Rugby Under 20 Championships in South Africa next month.

The ball has been developed by sports technology specialists Sportable with rugby ball manufacturers Gilbert.

The ball can be tracked in real time using beacons which determine its position up to 20 times a second.

Officials say it will give immediate feedback on every kick pass or throw.

"A fast game is a good game, and it is right that we explore technology that has the potential to help aid the flow of the game, reduce stoppage time and speed up match official decision-making," World Rugby director of rugby Phil Davies said.

"Rugby refereeing is perhaps the most difficult officiating job in sport, there are multiple decisions or non-decisions that are made at any given moment and the advancement of broadcast and social media means that such decisions are pored over long after the event."

At the World Rugby Under 20 Championship, the "smart ball" is expected to help officials detect forward passes more easily,

It does this by "measuring the relative velocity of the ball relative to the player as it leaves their hands, so indicating whether the ball has been 'thrown forward' in the act of passing".

It will also be able to accurately plot the location when the ball is kicked for touch, ensuring that line outs take place at the correct location.

It is also expected to help decision making on whether the ball has been "touched in flight" and can determine whether it has crossed the try line.

At lineouts, it will be possible to provide immediate feedback to decide if the ball has been thrown in straight.

This can be done "by measuring the angle of the throw from release to being touched by a player".

A direct feed of the data is made available to the Television Match Official (TMO) who is then able to pass this on to the referee.

"After the successful implementation of smart ball technology to enhance the fan experience through broadcast graphics and digital content, we are looking forward to this next phase and the introduction of our officiating solution that the Smart Ball provides," Sportable founder and chief executive Dugald Macdonald said.

"The evolution of smart ball technology opens the door to assist match officials in reaching accurate decisions more quickly, removing subjectivity and reducing the chance of error," Davis added.

"While this is a trial and the technology is new, we are excited about its potential and look forward to seeing it in action at the World Rugby Under 20 Championship."

The World Rugby Under 20 Championship which is scheduled to begin on June 24, will also incorporate a trial of the TMO "Bunker" in a further attempt to refine officiating.