Scottish official Hollie Davidson to become first woman to referee men's Six Nations side when Italy take on Portugal
Hollie Davidson will take charge of the men's Test between Portugal and Italy in Lisbon on June 25, as well as Canada's game against Belgium in July; Davidson has also been appointed as an official at the Women's Rugby World Cup later this year
Last Updated: 30/05/22 11:50am
Scottish referee Hollie Davidson will become the first female official to take charge of a men’s Six Nations team in a Test match when Italy face Portugal next month.
Davidson, who made history when she became Scottish rugby's first full-time professional women's referee in 2017, will be part of an all-female team for the June 25 clash in Lisbon.
Although she has already refereed a men's Test - Malta against Cyprus in the Rugby Europe Conference 1 South three years ago - this will be Davidson's first match in charge of a Tier 1 men's side.
The former Murrayfield Wanderers scrum-half, who has also been allocated Canada's game against Belgium in July, will be assisted by English official Sara Cox and France's Aurélie Groizeleau, with Claire Hodnett of England acting as the TMO.
"To be the first woman to referee a men's Six Nations team is a tremendous honour and an achievement I am proud of," said Davidson.
"I have been happy with my progress in the last couple of years and working as a full-time professional referee with Scottish Rugby has really helped that.
"I couldn't believe it when I heard the news as I didn't think something like this would have happened so quickly in my career, but I'm really proud and looking forward to the summer.
"In the last year I have been fortunate to have refereed high-profile fixtures in both the men's and women's game, which will act as great preparation going into the summer for these two matches."
Davidson has already refereed three United Rugby Championship games this season, as well as the Women's Six Nations fixture between France and England.
She was recently confirmed on the list of officials for the delayed 2021 Rugby World Cup, which takes place later this year in New Zealand.
Scottish Rugby performance director Jim Mallinder added: "Hollie is a pioneer for female refereeing in Scotland and to make history by becoming the first woman to officiate a men's match including a Tier 1 country is an incredible achievement.
"She has refereed well this season, building up experiences of taking charge of high-profile matches. All of those will stand her in great stead as she marks another impressive milestone in her career."