Irish Referee Joy Neville Makes Rugby World Cup History

Irish Referee Joy Neville Makes Rugby World Cup History Irish Referee Joy Neville Makes Rugby World Cup History

World Rugby has confirmed the team of match officials who have been selected for the Rugby World Cup 2023 in France later this year.

Four Irish officials have been named as match officials for the Rugby World Cup 2023, with Joy Neville making history by being named the first female official at a men's Rugby World Cup.

Neville is one of four Irish officials who have been selected to join the 26 Emirates Match Officials team (12 referees, seven assistant referees and seven Television Match Officials), representing nine nations with more than 630 test appearances between them.


Neville will be joined by Brian MacNeice in the TMO panel, Andrew Brace is named in the Referee panel and Chris Busby in the Assistant Referee panel.

“We are very proud to have 4 Match Officials appointed to represent the IRFU at Rugby World Cup 2023 which is the result of the hard work & dedication of our entire team on and off the field," said IRFU Head of Referees Dudley Phillips.


“To be selected to represent your country at a World Cup is the pinnacle of an athlete’s career, which very few get to experience."

“We look forward to watching and supporting Andy, Chris, Joy and Brian in their fixtures leading up to and including the World Cup itself.”

Chairman of the Match Officials Selection Committee Graham Mourie also congratulated the selected officials: “Like the players, they have earned their place on merit and have worked incredibly hard, making many sacrifices to be in contention for selection."

“These men and women are not only representing their nations, they are also representing the global officiating fraternity and truly are ‘everyone’s team’, playing their full part in enabling players to perform to their best at our pinnacle men’s event and we should all get behind them."

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