Blanco is in Nigeria to conduct the first ever World Rugby Certified Referee Level One training course which opened on Saturday at the Sports Writers (Lagos SWAN) secretariat at the National Stadium, Lagos.
The Argentine whose last post in Brazil was as the country’s Rugby National Facilitator told the participants and the media that he was surprised by the level of awareness and interest in rugby by the Nigeria public.
“It is strange to say because Brazil is a football country like Nigeria, but when we talk with the people here everybody knows what rugby is but in the streets of Brazil you hear response like “Is Rugby a kind of food?”
“More surprising also is that Brazil is 34th in the world ranking and Nigeria is 79th. So, the country that knows less of rugby is the higher ranked,” Blanco wondered.
The two day training which has attracted fifteen senior senior national rugby officials from different parts of the country as participants is focused on the rudiment of the game, the application of its rule and simulation in the game. The programme also involves practical workshop sessions at intervals in the main bowl of the stadium.
The participants of the two days training includes referees, players-coaches, make and female game officials many of who have hailed the value of the training and expressed their personal objectives and vision for the game in the Nigeria.
Vice president of the Nigeria Rugby Federation, Olatunji Fasimonye who is also Technical Director of Nigeria Rugby said “the purpose of the training is to improve Nigeria Rugby and to develop the match officials and referees to have more experience.”