JOY NEVILLE’S RAPID rise through refereeing continues.
While most eyes were on the Six Nations two weekends ago, Neville was in charge as Russia and Spain clashed in a massive game in the Rugby Europe Championship – essentially the Six Nations B.
Joy Neville has risen rapidly through the refereeing ranks. Source: Elena Barbini/INPHO
Neville, who took up the whistle after a successful playing career that included the 2013 Grand Slam with Ireland, has a long list of achievements in refereeing.
In December 2017, she became the first woman to referee a professional European rugby union match when she was in charge of Bordeaux’s Challenge Cup meeting with Enisei-STM, while last year saw Neville referee her first Pro14 game.
Click Here: Kingsley Coman jersey sale
Funnily enough, Neville had no interest in refereeing when she first retired from playing, as she told the latest episode of The42 Rugby Weekly.
Now a professional referee contracted to the IRFU, Neville was named World Rugby Referee of the Year in 2017.
“It was a massive honour,” said Neville. “I was informed that I’d won the award about a month prior but I actually thought it was in the category of female referees, I didn’t realise it was for both genders.
“It wasn’t until afterwards that I probably realised the magnitude of the award, the amount of people who contact me, even getting a tweet from the President of Ireland to congratulate me. What a gent he is and a role model for supporting women’s sport as well.
“It was a massive honour for me, my family, my wife. It was a great occasion in Monaco, what a place.”
Neville was World Rugby Referee of the Year in 2017. Source: James Crombie/INPHO
Having already achieved so much in the world of refereeing, Neville is constantly working hard to improve.