Team of All-Female Match Referees Take Charge of RWC 2021
World Rugby has announced that a group of all-female match referees, and in total, an 18-strong team selected from 11 unions – will officiate the rugby matches in New Zealand at RWC 2021 (playing in 2022).
In total, 26 matches will be officiated by the team comprised of nine referees, five assistant referees, and four television match officials (TMOs) with as many as six referees set to make their Rugby World Cup debut.
World Rugby says the “selection for the pinnacle tournament in women’s 15s rugby follows a comprehensive review of match official performances over the last four international windows and features an exciting blend of youth and experience.”
Who are the Rugby World Cup 2021 Match Officials?
World Rugby Chairman, Sir Bill Beaumont, said: “Fifteen of the 18 match officials selected being female, demonstrates not only the strength and depth of elite-level match officials across the globe but also the commitment that World Rugby and its member unions have made to developing women in rugby and increasing the visibility of females within our sport across multiple pathways.
Rugby World Cup 2021 promises to be an exceptional celebration of women’s rugby and we wish the team of match officials the very best for their final months of preparation.”
The RWC 2021 match officials team:
There are 9 all-female match referees, five assistant referees, and four television match officials (TMOs) – Lee Jeffrey will make her Rugby World Cup debut and is the only female TMO at the World Cup in New Zealand.
- Referees (nine): Aimee Barrett-Theron (South Africa), Maggie Cogger-Orr (New Zealand), Sara Cox (England), Hollie Davidson (Scotland), Aurélie Groizeleau (France), Lauren Jenner (New Zealand), Clara Munarini (Italy), Amber McLachlan (Australia), Joy Neville (Ireland).
- Assistant referees (five): Doriane Domenjo (France), Tyler Miller (Australia), Nikki O’Donnell (England), Kat Roche (USA), Julianne Zussman (Canada).
- TMOs (four): Chris Assmus (Canada), Lee Jeffrey (New Zealand), Ian Tempest (England), Ben Whitehouse (Wales).
Joy Neville (Ireland) – who refereed the Rugby World Cup 2017 final- is selected for her second tournament along with Aimee Barrett-Theron (South Africa).
For Sara Cox (England), it will be her fourth Rugby World Cup after she refereed in Ireland at RWC 2017 and was an assistant referee in 2010 and 2014.
Only South America and Asia are not represented among the match officials at RWC 2021.
The referees making their RWC debut with the whistle include:
- Hollie Davidson (Scotland)
- Maggie Cogger-Orr (New Zealand)
- Aurélie Groizeleau (France)
- Lauren Jenner (New Zealand)
- Clara Munarini (Italy)
- Amber McLachlan (Australia)
Race to Rugby World Cup (2021)
The referee for the opening fixture of the tournament will receive her whistle from adventurers Ron Rutland and Adam Nunn as they complete Race to Rugby World Cup 2021.
They are appealing to fans to ‘sponsor a kilometre’ for US$10 with all proceeds going to ChildFund Rugby. They are also encouraging rugby communities along the way to get involved and reach out to them as they undertake their journey.
RWC 2021 Match Tickets
Rugby World Cup will kick off at Auckland’s Eden Park on 8 October 2022 as 12 of the world’s top women’s 15s teams will compete to be crowned world champions.
Team and venue ticketing packs are currently on sale for Rugby World Cup 2021 with general admission tickets going on sale on June 30th 2022.
Rugby World Cup 2021 News
- Rugby World Cup 2021 Match Schedule Released.
- Rugby World Cup 2021 Appoints ChildFund as Principal Charity Partner.
- Rugby World Cup 2021 Trophy Tour: April-September 2022.
- Japan Sakura 15s Inspired by Historic Victorious Australia Tour.