Ref Neville to make history in Bordeaux


Irish referee Joy Neville will make history next month when she takes charge of Bordeaux-Begles’ Challenge Cup clash with Enisei-STM.

Neville, who refereed the Women’s Rugby World Cup final in August, will become the first woman to officiate a European professional club fixture at Stade Chaban-Delmas on Dec. 15.

Her appointment was confirmed Tuesday when European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) confirmed its refereeing appointments for the third and fourth rounds of continental action.

The former Ireland international — who won 70 caps before taking up the whistle — has been used as an assistant in the Champions Cup, Challenge Cup and PRO14 this season. She also took charge of the Welsh Premiership match between Pontypridd and Ebbw Vale last weekend.

In the lead up to the game in Bordeaux, Neville will officiate as an assistant during the Barbarians’ clash with Tonga at Thomond Park Friday as well as Spain’s clash with Canada and France’s Test against Japan.