After 70 games for her country’s national women’s team, Joy Neville decided to trade her rugby boots for the referee’s whistle. And in 2017, the 39-year-old Irishman was among other things at the helm of the World Cup final between England and New Zealand’s women’s players in Bath.
Three years later, she became the first female match official in the control room for an international men’s Test when she acted as television referee for the match between Wales and Georgia, while she was also part of the Six Nations action.
Now she provides another touch of unique history.
World Rugby announced on Wednesday that Neville will be among its group of television referees for the men’s World Cup in France.
This is the first time for female referees.
Other famous TV match officials include Wales’ Ben Whitehouse and South Africa’s Marius Jonker.
Then Jaco Peyper’s name counts among the select group of 12 head referees who must maintain law and order on the field during the tournament.
This will be the 42-year-old Bloemfonteiner’s third World Cup tournament in a row after he made his debut in England in 2015.
European rugby bosses also confirmed this week that Peyper will be in charge of the Champions Cup final between Leinster and La Rochelle in Dublin on 20 May.
England’s Karl Dickson and Christophe Ridley will be his assistants, while another Englishman – Tom Foley – will act as the TV referee.
“Peyper will make history when he becomes the first South African referee to officiate in a European final,” European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) said in a statement.
Nic Berry, the Australian referee whom Rassie Erasmus so criticizedwill also blow his whistle in France.
- Referees: Nika Amashukeli (Georgia), Wayne Barnes (England), Nic Berry (Australia), Andrew Brace (Ireland), Matthew Carley (England), Karl Dickson (England), Angus Gardner (Australia), Ben O’Keeffe (New -Zealand), Luke Pearce (England), Jaco Peyper (South Africa), Mathieu Raynal (France) and Paul Williams (New Zealand).
- Assistant referees: Chris Busby (Ireland), Pierre Brousset (France), James Doleman (New Zealand), Craig Evans (Wales), Andrea Piardi (Italy), Christophe Ridley (England) and Jordan Way (Australia).
- Television Referees: Brett Cronan (Australia), Tom Foley (England), Marius Jonker (South Africa), Brian MacNeice (Ireland), Joy Neville (Ireland), Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand) and Ben Whitehouse (Wallis).
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