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Davidson to lead first all-female officiating team in men’s European tie

Davidson to lead first all-female officiating team in men’s European tie

Hollie Davidson will make history by leading the first ever all-female officiating team in a men’s European rugby match.

Scottish referee Davidson, a former Murrayfield Wanderers scrum-half, will be assisted by Sara Cox and Clara Munarini, while Claire Hodnett will be on TMO duties and Helen O’Reilly will be the Citing Commissioner, as Scarlets clash with Toyota Cheetahs in the EPRC Challenge Cup next weekend.

History will also be made in the United Rugby Championship this weekend, with three female referees in a single round for the first time ever.

Joy Neville will be taking charge of Cardiff Rugby’s match against Scarlets, Aimee Barrett-Theron will oversee Edinburgh Rugby’s tie with Zebre, and Davidson will be running the rule over Munster’s meeting with Emirates Lions.

Davidson, 30, was previously part of the first all-female team to officiate a men’s Test match, leading the proceedings for Italy’s fixture against Portugal in June.

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In 2017, she made history by becoming Scottish rugby’s first full-time professional female referee.

She then took charge of the 2021 Rugby World Cup final as New Zealand overcame England 34-31 in an Auckland thriller.

One of her two deputies next weekend, Munarini, is no stranger to men’s European rugby either. She became the first Italian female to officiate in the Heineken Champions Cup, running the line for London Irish’s narrow defeat by Montpellier in December.