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.
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.”