Hollie Davidson to become first female to referee Springboks as World Rugby confirm appointments

Adam Kyriacou
Hollie Davidson as an assistant referee.

Hollie Davidson as an assistant referee.

Hollie Davidson will become the first woman to referee a Springboks match when they face Portugal in their historic first ever meeting in Bloemfontein in July.

The appointment of Scotland’s Davidson was announced by World Rugby on Tuesday, along with the match officials for all the June and July international fixtures.

Chris Busby from Ireland will be the man in the middle when the Springboks kick off their 2024 season against Wales at Twickenham in London on June 22, while Australia’s Angus Gardner and Karl Dickson from England have been appointed to referee the Boks’ two Tests against Ireland in Pretoria and Durban respectively.

30 referees appointed

The World Rugby match officials have been confirmed for not only the men’s June-July international window but also the revamped Pacific Nations Cup and the World Rugby U20 Championship and U20 Trophy competitions.

30 referees have been selected to take charge of 49 men’s internationals across the window and Pacific Nations Cup with a further 16 named on the panels for the U20 Championship and U20 Trophy.

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24 nations – from Argentina to Zimbabwe – feature across the appointments as World Rugby advances its strategic pathway to identify, enable and develop high-performance talent in preparation for future Rugby World Cups.

Luc Ramos (France) will take charge of the opening match of the June-July window, between Japan and England in Tokyo on June 22, with Nic Berry (Australia) to referee the last match, the Pacific Nations Cup final in Osaka, Japan, on September 21.

Berry and Davidson (Scotland) each have three Tests in total with the latter taking charge of Canada v Romania on July 12, South Africa v Portugal on July 20 and Japan v USA in the Pacific Nations Cup on September 7.

Click here for the full list of match official appointments

Davidson is one of three women appointed to Test matches with Kat Roche (USA) and Precious Pazani (Zimbabwe) selected as assistant referees. Roche will be assistant referee for Canada v Romania and Canada v Japan on August 25, with Pazani selected for Namibia v Portugal on July 13.

50 and out for Raynal

Meanwhile, Mathieu Raynal (France) will referee his 50th and final Test, having already announced his retirement. Raynal will be in the middle for Chile v Scotland in Santiago on July 20 to become the fourth Frenchman and 13th official in total to referee 50 Tests.

Kahlil Harrison (USA) is named as assistant referee for Canada v Scotland on July 6 having recently been one of nine at the Match Officials Academy in Stellenbosch, South Africa, a key development platform for the next generation of aspiring international match officials.

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