• 15 women’s international test matches scheduled in November
  • 12 match officials and five TMO’s appointed from nine different unions
  • Black Ferns to play test match on USA soil for first time
  •  Wales to host biggest November series to date
  • South Africa tour for first time since Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014
  • Hosts of Women’s Rugby World Cup 2021 to be selected on 14 November

This November will see the biggest women’s international test programme on record as World Rugby has today announced the 12 match officials and five Television Match Officials (TMOs) from nine unions who will officiate over the highly anticipated matches.

A total of 15 women’s test matches are scheduled to take place, hosted across eight member unions; USA, England, Spain, France, Italy, Scotland, Ireland and Wales.

The international window kicks off on 3 November with USA playing host to current Women’s Rugby World Cup champions New Zealand, who are set to play their first ever test on USA soil at Soldier Field in Chicago.

The Black Ferns will then face 2018 Six Nations champions France in back-to-back fixtures at Stade de Mayol in Toulon (9 November) and Stade des Alpes in Grenoble (17 November). With USA travelling to England where they face the Red Roses at Allianz Park (9 November) before closing out their tour against Ireland in Dublin (18 November).

Italy will entertain Scotland (4 November) as well as South Africa (25 November), while England’s match against Ireland on 24 November will be played at Twickenham following the men’s international between England and Australia with the potential for a large attendance in the 82,000-capacity stadium.

In another first, Wales are set to host their biggest November series to date with three fixtures scheduled at Cardiff Arms Park against South Africa (10 November), who are touring for the first time since the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014, Hong Kong (16 November) and Canada (24 November), in a rematch of their Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2017 fifth place semi-final.

Hong Kong will also travel to Spain (11 November) as part of their two-test tour, with Canada also set to play England (18 November) and Scotland (27 November) in the final test of the women’s international programme.


As teams begin their journeys towards Women’s Rugby World Cup 2021 in earnest, they will find out their target destination on 14 November as the World Rugby Council meets in Dublin to vote on the awarding of hosting rights for the tournament between two very strong bids from Australia and New Zealand.

World Rugby Chair Bill Beaumont said: “This is an exciting time for the women’s international game, with the biggest women’s international programme on record taking place with 15 fixtures scheduled throughout November. Following the awarding of hosting rights for the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2021, which takes place on 14 November between two outstanding bids from Australia and New Zealand, teams will be able to plan for the journey ahead as the women’s game continues to strengthen and capture attention around the world.”

The match official appointments see four officials selected from England in Ian Tempest, Sara Cox, Nikki O'Donnell and Laura Pettingale, alongside Ireland's Joy Neville and Sean Gallagher and Beatrice Benvenuti and Clara Munarini from Italy.

In addition, France’s Aurelie Groizeleau, New Zealand's Rebecca Mahoney (NZR), Scotland’s Hollie Davidson and South Africa’s Aimee Barrett-Theron have been named as part of the appointments.

TMOs Marc Nelson (USA Rugby), Eric Gauzins (FFR), Claire Hodnett (RFU), Neil Patterson (SRU) and Leo Colgan (IRFU) are also included as part of the panel for the November period.


World Rugby Match Officials Selection Committee Chair Anthony Buchanan said: “Entering into a new Women’s Rugby World Cup cycle ahead of WRWC 2021, the women’s international programme provides an opportunity for match officials, who have proven themselves at domestic level, to showcase their talents at international level as they continue to develop as elite match officials.”

The match official appointment process identifies and rewards the top performing match officials. All match official performances are closely reviewed to ensure clear and consistent decision-making from match officials.

Women’s test programme match officials:

  • Ian Tempest (RFU)
  • Sara Cox (RFU)
  • Nikki O'Donnell (RFU)
  • Laura Pettingale (RFU)
  • Joy Neville (IRFU)
  • Sean Gallagher (IRFU)
  • Beatrice Benvenuti (FIR)
  • Clara Munarini (FIR)
  • Aurelie Groizeleau (FFR)
  • Rebecca Mahoney (NZR)
  • Hollie Davidson (SRU)
  • Aimee Barrett-Theron (SARU) 


  • Marc Nelson (USAR)
  • Eric Gauzins (FFR)
  • Claire Hodnett (RFU)
  • Neil Patterson (SRU)
  • Leo Colgan (IRFU)