21 Apr 2012

Sports: Fiji's top referee says refs advised to give up traditional isolation

10:29 am on 21 April 2012

Fiji's top rugby referee, James Bolabiu, says the country's referees have been advised to give up their traditional isolation and train with teams.

Bolabiu has attended a workshop given by visiting IRB Pacific conditioning consultant, Matthew Blair, who stressed greater integration between teams, trainers and referees.

Bolabiu says referees usually train on their own but Blair says they would benefit by turning up at team training's.

"And we referee the practice match before the Saturday games. In that way we gain more of an understanding of how the players want to play the game. And the players will understand how the referee wants to referee the game. And at the end of the day it's the final product. the Saturday game which will be played in a much better way."

James Bolabiu also says the country's young whistle blowers have the potential to officiate at the world's top competitions

Matthew Blair also conducted workshops with one specifically dedicated to referees.

Bolabiu says Blair was enthused by those who turned up.

Since we had some young participants who attended the course he could see these young participants, if they do really well, he is looking forward to see them officiating at the top level. He has given us a guideline to help us on how we can get better from there.

Fiji's top rugby referee James Bolabiu.