Saturday 17 March 2018

Joy as Neville gets final nod

Touch judge Joy Neville. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Touch judge Joy Neville. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Ireland will have representation in tomorrow's World Cup final as former international Joy Neville has been selected to take charge of the clash between England and New Zealand.

A Grand Slam winner in 2013, the Limerick native won 70 caps for Ireland and played at two World Cups in 2006 and 2010. Since retiring four years ago, Neville has been making strides up the refereeing ladder. Tomorrow's decider at the Kingspan Stadium will mark the latest landmark moment in her career.

In October last year, she became the first woman to officiate in a European game when she was a touch judge in Bath and Bristol's Challenge Cup clash. A month later she again broke new ground when the IRFU selected her as the first woman to take charge of an Ulster Bank League Division 1A game. Neville has been officiating throughout the women's World Cup during which her performances have been roundly praised.

"Joy has proven time and again her ability as a referee," David McHugh, IRFU referee performance manager, said. "She has an astute rugby brain and great empathy for the players and this combination, coupled with a strong work ethic, has enabled her to continue to reach new heights as a referee.

"We are incredibly proud of her latest achievement and wish her well for Saturday's final."

Defending champions England will look to deny the Black Ferns winning a record fifth title, while earlier in the day, Ireland play in a seventh-place play-off against Wales.

Irish Independent

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