Rugby union referee Joy Neville makes history yet again - Ruck

Rugby union referee Joy Neville makes history yet again

Referee Joy Neville added another piece of history to her already impressive CV when she took charge of Ulster’s 59-10 win over Southern Kings in the Guinness PRO14 at the Kingspan Stadium.

The 34-year-old became the first female official to referee a fixture in the tournament’s history.

Neville was named World Rugby Referee of the Year in November, a month after taking charge of her first international between Norway and Denmark.

After winning 70 caps which included helping Ireland complete a Gram Slam on the way to claiming the Six Nations title in 2013, she took steps to become a referee.

Since then, she has progressed from serving as an assistant referee to taking charge of high-profile games such as Friday’s PRO14 fixture in Belfast.


The 34-year-old, from Limerick, previously oversaw a Challenge Cup match between Bordeaux-Bègles and Enisei-STM in December – the first woman to do so.

That followed a match between Norway and Denmark in October, in the second tier of international rugby union.

She also took charge of the women’s 2017 World Cup final between England and New Zealand.