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Davidson to make history in refereeing Italy encounter

Hollie Davidson

Scottish referee Hollie Davidson will lead the first all-female officiating crew in charge of a men’s Guinness Six Nations side when she referees Italy’s clash with Portugal this summer.

Davidson will be joined by Sara Cox (RFU) and Aurélie Groizeleau (FFR) as her assistants, with Claire Hodnett (RFU) serving as the TMO for the encounter in Lisbon on June 25.

It is the first time that an all-female refereeing team have taken charge of a men’s Test, while Davidson will become the first female referee to officiate a men’s Guinness Six Nations team in a Test match.

Since becoming Scotland’s first full-time professional female referee in 2017, Davidson has established herself among the best referees in the game and was in the middle for the TikTok Women’s Six Nations decider between France and England earlier this year.

She is also part of the officiating panel named for the upcoming Women’s World Cup in New Zealand.

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 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.”

The World Rugby chairman, Sir Bill Beaumont, added: “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.”