Female ref Neville to officiate at men's World Cup

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Joy Neville, of Ireland, will make history when she becomes the first female referee to included in the list of match officials for a men's Rugby World Cup.

Neville, 39, was among a group of 26 match officials representing nine nations announced by World Rugby on Wednesday.

Neville, who was the referee for the Women's World Cup final between New Zealand and England in 2017, will be one of the television match officials.

Among her numerous firsts in rugby, Neville became the first female TMO (Television Match Official) in the men's Six Nations Championship in 2021.

Nika Amashukeli will be the first Georgian to officiate at a Rugby World Cup.

English referee Wayne Barnes will officiate at a record fifth Rugby World Cup, having made his debut at the 2007 tournament in France.

Australians Nic Berry and Angus Gardner, plus New Zealanders Ben O'Keeffe and Paul Williams, are among eight of the 12 referees who took charge in Japan four years ago to be retained.

Jordan Way (Aus) and James Doleman (NZ) are on a seven-strong list of assistant referees, while Aussie Brett Cronan (Australia) and Kiwi Brendon Pickerill are both on the TMO roster.

The Rugby World Cup is being held in France from September 8 to October 28.

Rugby World Cup match official panel:

Referees: Nika Amashukeli (Georgia), Wayne Barnes (England), Nic Berry (Australia), Andrew Brace (Ireland), Matthew Carley (England), Karl Dickson (England), Angus Gardner (Australia), Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand), Luke Pearce (England), Jaco Peyper (South Africa), Mathieu Raynal (France), Paul Williams (New Zealand).

Assistant Referees: Chris Busby (Ireland), Pierre Brousset (France), James Doleman (New Zealand), Craig Evans (Wales), Andrea Piardi (Italy), Christophe Ridley (England), Jordan Way (Australia).

Television Match Officials: Brett Cronan (Australia), Tom Foley (England), Marius Jonker (South Africa), Brian MacNeice (Ireland), Joy Neville (Ireland), Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand), Ben Whitehouse (Wales).

With Reuters