Tuesday 24 April 2018

Joy Neville makes history in Belfast by becoming the first female to referee a PRO14 game

Referee Joy Neville shakes hands with Darren Cave of Ulster after the Guinness PRO14 Round 14 match between Ulster and Southern Kings at Kingspan Stadium in Belfast. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Referee Joy Neville shakes hands with Darren Cave of Ulster after the Guinness PRO14 Round 14 match between Ulster and Southern Kings at Kingspan Stadium in Belfast. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Referee Joy Neville added another piece of history to her already impressive CV when she took charge of Ulster's 59-10 win over Southern Kings in the Guinness PRO14 at the Kingspan Stadium.

The 34-year-old became the first female official to referee a fixture in the tournament's history.

Neville was named World Rugby Referee of the Year in November, a month after taking charge of her first international between Norway and Denmark.

After winning 70 caps which included helping Ireland complete a Gram Slam on the way to claiming the Six Nations title in 2013, she took steps to become a referee.

Since then, she has progressed from serving as an assistant referee to taking charge of high-profile games such as Friday's PRO14 fixture in Belfast.

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