Irish rugby referee Joy Neville is set to record a first in international rugby after being appointed as the Television Match Official (TMO) for two fixtures this November.
Neville is set to act as TMO for the games between Wales and Georgia in the Autumn Nations Cup on November 21st, before carrying out the same role in the fixture between Scotland and Fiji a week later. She will be the first woman to act as TMO in a men's international.
The 37-year old former Ireland international has been a fixture in refereeing circuits for a number of years now, becoming the first woman to referee a Pro 14 fixture in 2018. She also refereed the 2017 Women's Rugby World Cup final between New Zealand and England.
Speaking after news of the appointment was made, World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont congratulated Neville on making history.
We would like to congratulate Joy on her TMO appointments.
As part of World Rugby's transformational women’s strategy, we are committed to accelerating development of women in rugby through diversifying and normalising women in leadership positions, both on and off the field.
Joy, like all the appointed referees, has earned this opportunity and we look forward to watching the referee panel back out officiating the game at the highest level.
Ireland will play their first game in the Autumn Nations Cup against Wales at the Aviva Stadium on November 13th.