Joy Neville will make more rugby history when she becomes the first woman to referee a top-level European club match, writes Stephen Barry.
In the last month alone, the Limerick-native has become the first female ref in a Welsh Premiership game, took charge of her first international fixture, between Norway and Denmark, and received a professional contract from the IRFU.
It’s been announced that next month, on Friday, December 15, she will go into the record books again as ref of the Challenge Cup clash of Bordeaux-Bègles and Russian-side Enisei-STM.
Her selection was made by a committee chaired by Joel Jutge, European Professional Club Rugby’s Head of Match Officials.
In advance of her European debut, she will be an assistant referee at the Barbarians v Tonga match at Thomond Park on Friday, and in Autumn Internationals between Spain and Canada, and France and Japan.
Neville, who won the Grand Slam in 2013 during a 70-cap Ireland career, also took charge of the Women’s Rugby World Cup final between New Zealand and England in Belfast last August.