SEVEN referees yesterday graduated with their Level 2 International Rugby Board (IRB) Match Officiating certificates.
Usaia Bainivalu, Krishneel Chand, Mere Uluinaceva, Jeremaia Veisa, Lemeki Koroi, Atunaisa Macedru and Simione Sela received their certificates from High Performance Unit manager and new Flying Fijians head coach John McKee at the Fiji Rugby Union house in Suva.
The seven graduates are the first in the region to graduate with Level 2 IRB Match Officials.
FRU development manager Sale Sorovaki said it was a milestone achievement for Fiji rugby.
"This is a step forward," he said.
"Congratulations to the graduates, it is the first time that we're having Level 2 IRB match officials and I believe this is a way of developing rugby in Fiji."
McKee said the sport needed top referees to improve the standard of rugby.
Federations of Oceania Rugby Unions rugby and training co-ordinator Talemo Waqa said the milestone achievement was an open door to the graduates.
He urged the graduates to further pursue their Level 3 certificates later in September.
Meanwhile, Mere Uluinaceva, the only female graduate said she was overwhelmed with the achievement.
"I'm lost for words," she explained.
"This is a huge achievement for me and I am looking forward to continuing referring and further improve the standard of rugby in Fiji."