PRO14 set for historic female ref, TMO debut

Rugby

Hollie Davidson will referee Friday’s PRO14 game between Munster and Benetton with Joy Neville serving as television match official (TMO), making it the first top-tier men’s professional match with both roles filled by female officials.

Scotland’s Davidson, 28, was set to take charge of a European Challenge Cup game in January and a PRO14 fixture last month but both were postponed, meaning Friday’s match will be the first time she officiates a top-tier men’s game.

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Ireland’s Neville officiated her first Pro14 game three years ago.

“It is very rewarding to see Hollie Davidson earn the right to make her debut this Friday after the disappointment of the postponement a few weeks ago,” Greg Garner, elite referee manager of PRO14 Rugby, said in a statement.

“It is also ground-breaking for the sport that Joy has been selected as the TMO for the game.

“We have a competitive group of referees now and it is great to see younger officials pushing through looking to hold the whistle on the biggest occasions.”

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