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NRFF signs referee training pact with Zimbabwe Rugby Federation



• World educators arrive in Nigeria as course begins
As part of efforts to increase the officiating capacity of the country’s referees, the Nigeria Rugby Football Federation (NRFF) has signed a bilateral agreement with the Zimbabwe Rugby Football Union, which is expected to groom the nation’s umpires.

According to the NRFF, the Zimbabwean referees will train Nigerians and touch judges on the modern trend and international standard officiating. The Zimbabwean referees will also be on ground to officiate in this weekend’s Independence Sevens Rugby Tournament, while selected Nigerian referees will also reciprocate by attending the Zimbabwe’s International Schools Tournament, tagged Prince Edward Dairyboard International Schools Rugby Festival, slated to hold next year.

The competition will feature 80 schools that will play over 180 games in the U14, U16 and U19 categories.

The rugby body said the two Zimbabwean referees and world rugby referee educators, Simbarashe Mandla and Abigail Govere, arrived in Nigeria on Tuesday to conduct a course for 20 Nigerian referees and touch judges (assistant referee).

The course, which was expected to start yesterday, will end tomorrow at the National Stadium Surulere, Lagos.

The first assignment for the trained referees will be the Lagos Independence International Rugby Sevens Tournament at the Lagos Polo Club, Ikoyi this weekend.

Four international and eight local teams will fight for the Independence Cup.

The NRFF noted that the referees training programme became possible with the connections of its Technical Director, Ntiense Williams, who is also a product of the Zimbabwean rugby institution. Williams is a former rugby player, coach, referee and administrator.

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