The call is being made by New Zealand referee Steve Salton, who said on Friday night at Club Raro that it’s about time a local talent came through to call at least a semi-final match, and hopefully even the final.
“We’ve had referees coming over here for the past eight or nine years to referee the 7’s,” Salton said.
“And over the past three or four years we’ve taken on some coaching too with the referees that are here now.”
Salton, a referee coach from Auckland, has been joined by three other referees who will be officiating games at this week’s tournament.
“Normally I’ve come across as a referee as well, but this year we’re trying to push and prove that the local guys can ref in a semi-final, or the final, so we’re hoping that it’ll be a big year for the local guys.”
Salton has said that is this sole focus this year.
“So if we can get a local guy to referee the final this year, which I think that it’s time for, my job is done.”