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More history to be made by Joy Neville as she'll take charge of men's international

The former Ireland back row will become one of the first female referees to oversee a men’s international next month.

Neville took charge of the 2017 WRWC final.
Neville took charge of the 2017 WRWC final.
Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

A GRAND SLAM winner with Ireland in 2013, Joy Neville’s refereeing career has gone from strength to strength since she traded the back row for the whistle.

She’s constantly making history and breaking new ground, and next month she’s set to become one of the first female referees to take charge of a men’s international.

Rugby Europe this week announced that Neville and Spain’s Alhambra Nievas — who’ll become the very first on 14 October as Finland face Norway — will officiate two Conference 2 Division of Rugby Europe fixtures.

Limerick native Neville will then oversee Norway and Denmark do battle two weeks later, on 28 October.

“Joy has proven time and again her ability as a referee,” David McHugh, IRFU referee performance manager, said.

“She has an astute rugby brain and great empathy for the players and this combination, coupled with a strong work ethic, has enabled her to continue to reach new heights as a referee.”

The former international took charge of the Women’s Rugby World Cup final between New Zealand and England in August.

In October 2016, she became the first female assistant referee to officiate in a European rugby match and a month later, she became the first woman to referee in Ulster Bank League Division 1A game.

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