Hollie Davidson to become first woman to officiate a men’s Six Nations team

Scottish referee will oversee the men's Test match between Portugal and Italy this summer

Hollie Davidson will referee the Portugal versus Italy Test match this summer. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Hollie Davidson will referee the Portugal versus Italy Test match this summer. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

HOLLIE DAVIDSON is set to make history when she becomes the first female to officiate a men’s Six Nations team in a Test match, when she oversees the Portugal versus Italy game on 25th June.

The Scottish whistler has already refereed one men’s Test, Malta’s 37-10 defeat of Cyprus in the Rugby Europe Conference 1 South in March 2019, and has now been handed two matches this year, with Canada versus Belgium on 2nd July also in her diary.

Davidson – who was recently unveiled as a member of the refereeing panel for the Women’s World Cup in New Zealand later this year – will be part of an all-female team for the Test in Portugal, with Sara Cox (England) and Aurélie Groizeleau (France) her assistant referees and Claire Hodnett (England) the Television Match Official.


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Davidson has refereed three matches in the United Rugby Championship – Glasgow v Edinburgh, Ulster v Cardiff, Ospreys v Munster – along with France v England in the 2022 Women’s Six Nations. She, along with fellow Scot Ben Blain, will be an assistant referee in this coming weekend’s URC play-off clash between Ulster and Munster.

“To be the first woman to referee a men’s Six Nations team is a tremendous honour and an achievement I am proud of,” said Davidson. “I have been happy with my progress in the last couple of years and working as a full-time professional referee with Scottish Rugby has really helped that.

“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.

“In the last year I have been fortunate to have been refereed high profile fixtures in both the men’s and women’s game which will act as great preparation going into the summer for these two matches.”

Scottish Rugby Performance Director Jim Mallinder said: “Hollie is a pioneer for female refereeing in Scotland and to make history by becoming the first woman to officiate a men’s match including a Tier 1 country is an incredible achievement.

“Hollie’s two appointments this summer are a testament to the effort she has put in so far in her refereeing career.

“She has refereed well this season building up experiences of taking charge of high profile matches such as the 1872 derby match recently. All of those matches will stand her in great stead as she marks another impressive milestone in her career.”


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About David Barnes 3112 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.

9 Comments

  1. Some dinosaur on a thumbs down bonazana on this thread I have my suspicions as to who…

    • amazing how they don’t comment to explain why the thumbs down.
      I always wonder on stories like this, if there is a genuine reason to disagree, I’d be interested to read it, just maybe we’ve missed something. OTOH…….

  2. She seems a highly competent referee but like all officials she will immediately become awful in the eyes of some when she gives decisions against their team.

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  3. Delighted she is objectively based on data and for me subjectively based on experience of watching game and player reactions one of the very best refs in the world. She will eventually have an bad day and kets just hope the keyboard warriors keep their tweets in draft mode for a few hours at least… Well done Holly and Scottish Match Official team.

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  4. Delighted she is objectively based on data and for me subjectively based on experience of watching game and player reactions one of the very best refs in the world. She will eventually have an bad day and kets just hope the keyboard warriors keep their tweets in draft mode for a few hours at least… Well done Holly and Scottish Match Official team.

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  5. From what I’ve seen of her, she won’t be out of her depth at all. Well done.

    I did note they gave her a relatively easy game ie one not involving Dan Biggar or Johnny Sexton continually mumping their gums, though 😁

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  6. Please, enormously talented and hard working woman, stop saying “I have been fortunate”. No you haven’t. You didn’t get there by luck or fortune, you worked for it, you perservered (probably more than the men need to) and you earned it. Stop giving away your power. You are amazing.

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