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More history beckons for Joy Neville as she prepares for Pro14 debut

The Limerick native was named the World Rugby Referee of the Year last year.

Image: Inpho/Billy Stickland

JOY NEVILLE IS about to make more history in her refereeing career, as she prepares to make her Pro14 debut this weekend.

It has been announced that she will officiate the clash between Ulster and the Southern Kings on Friday evening at Kingspan Stadium, making her the first female referee to do so.[Kick-off, 7.35pm].

The Limerick native, and former Ireland international, has made significant strides as a rugby referee, and 2017 was an exceptional year for her as she became one of the first female referees to take charge of a men’s international game.

She was also the first woman to referee a European professional club fixture, which was a Challenge Cup clash between Bordeaux-Bègles and Enisei-STM.

Additionally, Neville was awarded a professional contract by the IRFU, and also officiated the final of the Women’s Rugby World Cup.

Those landmark achievements in her career culminated in her being named the World Rugby Referee of the Year at the end of 2017.

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