English referees to make Six Nations bow

Two Rugby Football Union referees will make their debuts in the 2019 Women’s Six Nations after being selected as part of a team of 13 referees.

Nikki O´Donnell and Laura Pettingale join six others in making their Six Nations debuts over the competition which will take place across February and March.

Aimee Barrett-Theron (SARU) will take charge of the opening game when Ireland face England at Energia Park in Dublin on 1 February, while the 2017 World Rugby Referee of the Year Joy Neville (IRFU) will take charge of the clash between England and Scotland at Twickenham on 16 March.

World Rugby Match Officials Selection Committee Chair Anthony Buchanan said: “The team of match officials appointed for the Women’s Six Nations Championship 2019 has a good blend of experience combined with six referees making their debuts in this competition.

“With the recent selection of New Zealand as hosts for the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2021 we are already hard at work developing the pathway to unsure we have the most highly competitive and experienced squad of match officials possible in 2021, and the Women’s Six Nations Championship forms a key part of this preparation.”

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