Monday 22 January 2018

Neville's award shows how far we have come

The fact that Neville is a former international a la Alain Rolland adds to the lustre. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile
The fact that Neville is a former international a la Alain Rolland adds to the lustre. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

When news came through last week of Joy Neville's achievement in becoming World Rugby's Referee of the Year the feeling was one of enormous pride. This wasn't female referee of 2017 but the referee of the year, worldwide.

The fact that she's a Limerick lass (and yes, hands up to my bias there) as well as part of a great rugby family adds to the achievement.

Keith Wood paved the way when lifting the first World Player of the Year gong and this achievement for Joy is right up there.

I'm a product of my generation so if I'm honest I cannot believe the enormous strides taken by women's sport in almost every discipline.

It is a world away from the gender segregation of our time growing up and amen to that.

Whether it is a Cora Staunton, a Rena Buckley, a Karen Duggan or a Claire Molloy the achievement is earned and appreciated in the same vein as an Andy Moran, a Joe Canning, a Robbie Brady or a Conor Murray.

The fact that Neville is a former international a la Alain Rolland adds to the lustre. The nation salutes this hugely deserved honour.

Indo Sport

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