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.

That’s not the only thing I would like to see change before the next World Cup, however, with different aspects of the game all needing to be looked at.

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When you look at some of the great games of rugby that we’ve seen recently, whether in France or in the URC over the last few weekends, you realise that there is nothing much wrong with the laws of the game themselves. Take the World Cup quarter-finals for example; there were two incredible matches on that weekend with no major disciplinary issues - if it’s possible for games of that calibre to be played under the current laws, then there can’t be any major problem with them.

But obviously not every game is played at that standard of discipline or with such positivity and so there are a number of other things that need to be looked at over the coming months and years.

One of those is tackle height. Now I don’t have an answer for it myself, but I know having spoken to people across the community game in England and Wales that the current law trial has been well received and has actually gone down better than many people expected. It’s certainly something that needs to be looked at in the professional game too, because at the moment it’s not in law that it’s illegal to tackle upright and players are not changing their behaviour in lowering their tackle height.

I think the 50:22 rule has worked OK, it hasn’t perhaps done what it was intended to do - namely opening up the clutter of midfield defence by making the defending team drop back a player - but it certainly hasn’t added anything negative to the game either.

The same can’t be said for goal line dropouts, however. 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. So for me, goal line dropouts haven’t worked and should be changed.

If you’re attacking and you’re held up, then in my opinion you should be rewarded with a five-metre scrum. If we lose scrummaging from our game, then we may as well play rugby league.

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There are other areas of the game that don’t need to be changed in themselves, but should be refereed more strongly than they are currently.

I know it’s a cliche but how scrum-halves are feeding into the scrum is worse than ever at the moment. In the past, it wasn’t really ever straight and I was probably as guilty of letting it slide as anybody else at the time, but now it is beyond a joke. Most scrum-halves may as well put it straight under the No.8’s feet.

Too many scrums are not being refereed at the moment .Too many refs are playing on when the scrum is down and not dealing with the issues behind it, and the problem then just continues over and over again. They simply need to be stronger - if they can be stronger in refereeing it and in dealing with the negative scrummagers, then we will see much more of a contest at scrum time.

Aside from scrums, the contact area is also key to the game. If you don’t have a solid contact area, then you’re stuck with a stop-start game with lots of penalties and absolutely no continuity.

It’s all there in the laws of the game, but it just needs to be refereed better. You can't deliberately collapse a ruck and players arriving at the ruck should be arriving on their feet and not diving off them. I'm not saying that everybody on the ground needs to be penalised, but certainly I think it's an area of the game we need to improve on. If we get more players on their feet contesting the ruck then we have more space in midfield for the players to attack. This will also reduce the amount of dangerous clearouts around the dead ruck areas, when piles of bodies are on the ground.

What we saw during the World Cup was several incidents of a player coming in to jackal the ball and an opposition player coming in to try and clear him out but then just pulling him off his feet into the ground. The player is then penalised for doing nothing wrong and we’re just left with a big pile of bodies and a total mess.

The boring and endless box kicks from long ruck set-ups need to be addressed too. The use it call needs to be as soon as the ball is available as in law or I would even think about reducing it to maybe three seconds.

I’m by no means calling for sweeping reforms, but few rugby fans would deny that our game needs quite a bit of attention in certain areas. Simply, if officials can get sharper and referee the current laws of the game, then rugby will be a lot stronger for it.

Nigel Owens will be speaking about the rugby revelations in his autobiography The Final Whistle at the Hay Festival Winter Weekend on Sunday 26 November at 2.30pm. Winter Weekend 2023 - Hay Festival