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Two groundbreaking Women Referees

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Referees Claire Hodnett and Joy Neville will both make history in men's matches this weekend.

By Paul Dobson, Moonsport

Claire Hodnett, rugby referee, will for the second time make rugby history in the men's game when she goes up to Kingston Park in Newcastle on Friday to fill the role of TMO in a match in England's Premiership.

Newcastle Falcons are playing Gloucester that day and never before has there been a woman TMO in the Premiership.

In 2014 the solicitor from Newark in Nottinghamshire became the first woman to be on England's national panel of referees.

In addition Claire Hodnett has refereed at two Women's Rugby World Cups.

In the same set of appointments, Joy Neville of Ireland will be an assistant referee when France play Japan in Nanterre, the highest female appointment in men's internationals so far. This year she refereed the final of the Women's Rugby World Cup and then became the second woman - after Alhambra Nievas of Spain - to referee a men's international - Norway vs Denmark. advert