SCOTLAND’S Hollie Davidson will referee the European Challenge Cup round three clash between Newcastle Falcons and Castres on Saturday 16th January, which will be her first men’s professional match appointment.
English referee Sara Cox has also received an appointment in the competition, meaning Davidson and Cox will both follow Joy Neville as female officials to referee in the European Challenge Cup.
“I couldn’t quite believe it when I got the phone call,” said Davidson, who has already been an Assistant Referee in both the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup this season.
“I am hugely excited by the appointment, and I’m looking forward to being tested at the next level of rugby. I’m sure I’ll have butterflies in my stomach but I’m just looking to go out there and do the basics well.”
Davidson’s last refereeing assignment was the nail-biting Women’s Six Nations fixture between England and France at Twickenham back in November, which resulted in a 25-23 victory for the Red Roses.
“To referee a game of that standard mid-pandemic was a privilege,” she said. “I feel very fortunate to have been involved in both international and professional-club fixtures during these uncertain times as it has kept my brain ticking over and I feel it has put me in a strong position building up to this career milestone.”
Competition organisers EPCR also announced that Mike Adamson will be in charge of Montpellier versus Wasps in the Champions Cup on 16th January, Ben Blain will oversee Pau versus London Irish in the Challenge Cup on 15th January, and Sam Grove-White will officiate Worcester Warriors versus Pau in the Challenge Cup on 23rd January.
“On behalf of Scottish Rugby, I would like to extend my congratulations to Hollie on the appointment to her first professional men’s fixture,” said Andrew Macpherson, Referee Development Manager at Scottish Rugby. “It is fantastic to see her hard work recognised and she thoroughly deserves this opportunity.”