For the first time in history, an all-female match official team will officiate a men’s rugby test match.
The team officiating the Portugal v Italy men’s international on 25 June will be led by Scottish referee Hollie Davidson. Davidson will have two assistant referees on her team-Sara Cox (England) and Aurélie Groizeleau (France) - Claire Hodnett (England) will serve as the Television Match Official (TMO).
This is not only the first time an all-female team will officiate a men’s test match, but also the first time a female referee will officiate a men’s Six Nations team in a test match.
The team is as follows:
Sara Cox, assistant ref 🏴
Aurélie Groizeleau, assistant ref 🇫🇷
Claire Hodnett, TMO 🏴
Big step in the world of #rugby
— Stella Mills 🏉 (@stella_mills_) May 30, 2022
“To be the first woman to referee a men’s Six Nations team is a tremendous honour and an achievement I am proud of,” said Davidson. “I couldn’t believe it when I heard the news as I didn’t think something like this would have happened so quickly in my career but I’m really proud and looking forward to the summer.”
Davidson became the first full-time professional women’s referee for the Scottish rugby union in 2017, and she was also recently named on the match official panel for Rugby World Cup 2021.
“Congratulations to Hollie, Sara, Aurelie and Claire on this historic appointment,” said the World Rugby chairman, Sir Bill Beaumont. “Today’s announcement signifies the strength and depth that has been developed in female match officials globally and demonstrates the many pathways available to women and girls wanting to get involved in this great game.”
This comes after news history was made in football with FIFA announcing, female referees would officiate for the first time at a major men’s tournament - the FIFA World Cup,