Referee Clare Daniels makes Premiership history

Friday’s Premiership match between Bristol and Exeter Chiefs marked a first as Clare Daniels became the league’s first-ever fourth official.

Daniels has previous experience refereeing at Women’s Rugby World Cups and in the Six Nations since joining the RFU as a full-time referee in 2010.

The appointment of Daniels comes after Amy Perrett became the first female assistant referee in Super Rugby, when the Rebels took on the Stormers in Melbourne, while Helen O’Reilly was also an assistant during the PRO12 match in March between Munster and Zebre.

Exeter won the match 41-17 at Ashton Gate in Bristol.

And in an interview conducted with ESPN back in 2014, she admitted that officiating a Premiership Rugby clash was a dream she was desperate to achieve.

“It’s pinch-your-arm stuff really but Premier League football already has a female assistant in Sian Massey and that’s a real inspiration,” explained Daniels.

“Female officials are not the novelty they once were and my aim is to go as high as I can.

“It was a hell of an achievement to referee in the National Leagues and then become the first assistant in the Championship.”


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