Scottish referee Hollie Davidson will create history on 25 June when she leads an all-female match official team for the Portugal v Italy men’s international at the Estadio do Restelo in Lisbon.
Davidson will have Sara Cox (England) and Aurélie Groizeleau (France) as her assistant referees and Claire Hodnett (England) as the Television Match Official (TMO).
It will be the first time an all-female team have taken charge of a men’s test match and the first time a female referee has officiated a men’s Six Nations team in a test match.
Davidson has already refereed a men’s test, Malta’s 37-10 defeat of Cyprus in the Rugby Europe Conference 1 South in March 2019, following in the footsteps of Alhambra Nievas and Joy Neville in Europe.
The Scot, who was last week named on the match official panel for Rugby World Cup 2021, has also been appointed as referee for the Canada v Belgium test in Halifax on 2 July when USA official Kat Roche will be her assistant referee.
Davidson will then act as assistant referee for the first leg of the Americas 2 play-off for Rugby World Cup 2023 between Chile and USA in Santiago on 9 July.
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With Rugby World Cup 2021 fast approaching, the July window will also see Joy Neville act as TMO for the first test between South Africa and Wales in Pretoria on 2 July and the second Australia v England test in Brisbane on 9 July.
World Rugby Chairman, Sir Bill Beaumont, said: “Congratulations to Hollie, Sara, Aurélie and Claire on this historic appointment. Today’s announcement signifies the strength and depth that has been developed in female match officials globally and demonstrates the many pathways available to women and girls wanting to get involved in this great game.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for Hollie and her team, one that will also provide excellent preparation for Rugby World Cup 2021, and we wish them all the best of luck.”
Davidson said: “To be the first woman to referee a men’s Six Nations team is a tremendous honour and an achievement I am proud of.
“I have been happy with my progress in the last couple of years and working as a full-time professional referee with Scottish Rugby has really helped that.
“I couldn’t believe it when I heard the news as I didn’t think something like this would have happened so quickly in my career but I’m really proud and looking forward to the summer.
“In the last year I have been fortunate to have refereed high-profile fixtures in both the men’s and women’s game which will act as great preparation going into the summer for these two matches.” – WORLD RUGBY