Dilroy and Nizam take Lankan rugby refereeing into the next plane
Sri Lanka in the Rugby Sevens World Cup! This is what you may want to hear as a proud rugby fan. We did play in the sevens qualifiers but did not go much far. Similarly our performance at the Asian 5 Nation division two tournaments did not do very much to boost our deflating ego. It was only the nascent, inter club, and inter personal, domestic politics that took the centre stage.

In the midst of all this the good news is that Sri Lanka will be there at the World Cup Rugby Sevens due to be played in Dubai during March 2009. It is not that the IRB had seen through the dummies, blind side moves and the great maneuvering skills and decided that Sri Lanka should be given a chance.
Dilroy Fernando

The news is that Two Sri Lankan referees will officiate as Referee Assistants during the Rigby Sevens World Cup. The chosen men among the Asian Referees are Dilroy Fernando and Nizam Jamaldeen. An achievement never reached so far by a Referee from Sri Lanka.

Should we or should we not talk about the achievement of the two Sri Lanka referees. I have at most times avoided writing about referees due to my involvement with this fraternity. I have written when something that needs to be written about comes up. As the year 2008 folds I thought I will write and mention the appointments as it should be considered an important event in the 125 year rugby history of Sri Lanka. May be it is the only one of worth in the recent years.

If you revisit some of the events and utterances there has been always a blame that the game suffers as we do not have good referees. The question now is whether this indeed is a fact. The fact is that we either do not have skilled players or they have not been taught to brush their talent to at least be along the Asian Giants. At least as we are unable to come close to the level of the Great rugby nations of the world. The achievements of Dilroy and Nizam make it compulsory for our thinkers to ask the question, have we been fair? Whatever they achieve while the rest of the game continues to head downwards there will always be comics who will blame the referee for losing.

To the rugby referees this signals the way to another door that will be open if you are committed to achieve. This I hope will encourage would be referees. That is to believe that we can rise up among the best. None of these would mean anything to the clowns who believe that the right way to go is to blame the referee.
Nizam Jamaldeen

The achievement should be not only for the community of referees but all involved and interested in rugby to be happy and to crow. The duo from Sri Lanka joins a select lot of referees from Asia. Other than the two from home there are two Japanese, and one each from China and Singapore. The others from ARFU are expatriates form this region and include one from Hong Kong and a few from the Gulf.

Dilroy and Nizam who have been refereeing for over a decade have many things s in common. They both come from Isipatana and have played as fly half. They both played for CR while Nizam subsequently joined and played for the Police team. Both have played for Sri Lanka in pivotal roles of the back division .That should make all of us proud of the duo who have come this far.

The appointments of Dilroy and Nizam should also tale a positive message to other referees and to those that intend to join the society. Hard work and being focused has a lot to offer. Despite what people like to say about the referees from Lanka the performance is recognized and rewarded. Well done!!!

The Dubai Rugby World Cup Sevens 2009 will be a landmark event in the history of the Women’s Game. This tournament will feature the inaugural 16-team women’s competition .For the first time the IRB has announced the selection of four of the world’s top female referees amongst the 18-strong panel set for Rugby ‘Sevens’. The women referees will include Lee Win Yi Gabrielle of Hong Kong while Anastassiya Khamova, of Kaakasthan who will be an assistant referee. This tournament is indeed a coming of age for Asian Rugby. Gabrielle, from Hong Kong is of Chinese Origin and has always shown the potential to join the elite. I have had the opportunity of seeing her as a referee coach ,and believe , she is a good example of a fit mobile knowledgeable referee. May be one of our females referees could take the example and follow Dilroy and Nizam. For a start let us accept that the female referee will be a part of the game.
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