The Isuzu Southern Kings will have a female referee for their PRO14 Rugby game against Glasgow Warriors on Friday at the Scotstoun Stradium in Glasgow.
Former Ireland Woman’s international Joy Neville will take charge of the game, her fifth Championship game in PRO14 Rugby and will be assisted by Keith Allen of Scotland and John Carvill of Ireland.
As a player Neville represented Ireland at the 2006 and 2010 Rugby World Cups and was a member of the Ireland team in 2013 that won their first Six Nations, Grand Slam and Triple Crown titles.
After retiring, Neville became a referee and has taken charge of matches in the Women’s Six Nations Championship, the Women’s World Rugby Sevens Series and the 2017 Rugby World Cup, including the honour of reffing the final.
In 2016 Neville became the first woman to officiate in a professional European rugby match when she was on an assistant referee for the game between Bath and Bristol. In 2018 she also became the first female referee to take charge of games in the PRO14 when she refereed the game between Ulster and the Southern Kings.
In 2017 Neville was named World Rugby Referee of the year.