FORMER International Rugby Board (IRB) elite referees manager Paddy O'Brien says sevens rugby is a career path for Fijian referees.
O'Brien, who now looks after sevens rugby referees, made the comments after assessing referees during the FIJI Water Centennial International 7s tournament at the ANZ Stadium last week.
While he was pleased with the performance of local referees, O'Brien feels upcoming referees should follow in the footsteps of top local whistleblower James Bolabiu and young Kaveni Talemaivalagi.
"I believe Fijian refs should concentrate on 7s rugby, this is a career path for them because this country loves 7s rugby," O'Brien said.
"Fiji has a lot of young refs but they should try to follow James who is one of the consistent refs in Fiji and also young Kaveni."
He said the Oceania tournament was a perfect warm-up for referees who will officiate at the Gold Coast tournament in Australia.
"This tournament is very good, I'm very pleased with the referees. This is a good build up for the refs that'll be officiating at IRB tournaments," O'Brien said.
He said if local referees were to control Test matches, then the Super Rugby and European Cup games would definitely set the platform.