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Brown has been back in Dunedin for a few weeks after finishing his coaching stint in Japan.
He is helping coach a side at John McGlashan College but has also taken up the whistle for the past couple of weeks.
Referee numbers in Dunedin were low and the referees association was struggling to get enough referees to cover all games with many whistle-blowers having to do two games on a Saturday.
Brown said he was not thinking of a refereeing career but was simply helping out as part of the rugby community. He just wanted to do his bit to help out the game.
He refereed a colts game last Saturday and was forced to red-card a player after a punch was thrown.
Refereeing was a different experience and a long way away from coaching, he said.
Brown, who coached Otago in 2015-17, and was then involved with the Highlanders for the 2018 season, has been coaching the Sanix Blues in Japan but his contract with the team had ended. The Sanix company was looking to scale back its rugby commitments.
Japan is moving towards a 12-team fully professional top league next year.