Popular former referee Nigel Owens has called for major changes to way games are officiated following what was a divisive Rugby World Cup.
The Welshman, who was writing in his column for Wales Online, believes there are a number of areas that need addressing after taking time to think about what went down in France.
Dump the bunker:
Owens wrote: “During the Rugby World Cup, I made no secret of my thoughts on the new TMO bunker. While it certainly showed how it can help to speed up games, it hardly reduced controversies or improved decision-making during the tournament and, in my opinion, ended up being used too much when the decisions should have been made by the on-field referees.
“At the moment, it feels like the TMO is refereeing matches and that is not a road that rugby should be going down. While technology has its place in the game, how it is used currently needs to change.”
Get your tickets to the 2024 Six Nations matches at viagogo, the world’s leading ticket marketplace
Scrap the drop-out:
Owens wrote: “It was hoped that they would improve player safety by reducing the number of pick-and-gos and encourage teams to spread the ball along the back line rather than bulldoze their way over to score.
But if you look at games now, teams are still picking and going and they’re still bulldozing their way over the line. If anything, it rewards negative play as the defender can just chuck themselves under the ball and hold it up.”