Miri Rhinos' Frankie Migi (R) in action during a Brunei Rugby Football Union (BRFU) Premiership match against the Universiti Brunei Darussalam Sharks last year. BT file
Nine rugby enthusiasts passed a two-day International Rugby Board (IRB) Level 2 Match Official course yesterday.
The course was led by Army Rugby Union (ARU) education trainer, John Voss, who was brought in by the British Army Garrison from the United Kingdom.
They were put through a two-day mix of theory and practical based sessions at the British Forces Brunei establishment in Seria, with yesterday's final day seeing all participants sit for a written test.
Belait Pythons Muhammad Zuhdi Khairi Hj Ramlee hopes that more opportunities like this will come by again.
"If it wasn't for the course I wouldn't have learnt all of the new up-to-date things as well as some of the basics," Zuhdi told The Brunei Times.
"The second day was pretty hard because we were given a written test, and I didn't expect it to be hard," added Zuhdi.
The course was to used boost the number of qualified match officials needed to develop the game of rugby within the Sultanate and British Forces.
British Army personnel and Belait Pythons coach John Beart organised the course as he realised there is a lack of qualified referees in Brunei.
The British Army also offered the free course to locals as a way of fostering strong sports links between the two.
Beart has also set up a Pitch Side First Aid course that will be taking place in Seria on Sunday.
He felt it was necessary to hold the course as he has noticed the lack of trained personnel in injury management at each game since he arrived in August.
The British Army are set to organise a one-off game inaugural Kukri Cup test match between the British Garrison Army Team, Flying Kukris and the national team.
England's record try scorer Rory Underwood will be present to support the Flying Kukris at the British Army Field in Kuala Belait next Saturday.
The three-time Rugby World Cup player holds the English record for tries after scoring 49 tries in a 85-cap career. He also scores one try for the British and Irish Lions in six caps.
Underwood, who plays as a wing, still holds the most caps for the English backs despite retiring from the international level in 1996.
The 50-year-old's appearance is to also raise the Flying Kukris profile before head into the Feb 22-23 Bangkok International Rugby 10s in Thailand, which will be their first tournament of the season.
The British Army have also showed their support to Brunei rugby through the inaugural Brunei Rugby Sevens Series held at the end of last year, which was co-organised by Beart and Eliki Tuitubou.
The Brunei Leopards Rugby Development Squad emerged as champions after securing 26 points throughout the three series.
Second in the six-team table were the Belait Pythons with 24 points, followed by the Knights with 18 points.