On the eve of International Women's Day, World Rugby has announced the Emirates match officials for the TikTok Women’s Six Nations 2022, which kicks off 26 March.

The Women’s Six Nations will play a pivotal role in the match official selection process for Rugby World Cup 2021, playing in 2022, which takes place in New Zealand from 8 October to 12 November.

The group of match officials selected for the Women’s Six Nations features a breadth of international experience alongside debutants.

A total of 11 referees from 10 unions will take charge of the Championship’s 15 matches.

Highlights include:

  • New Zealand’s Lauren Jenner and Maggie Cogger-Orr, USA’s Kat Roche and Canada’s Julianne Zussman will all make their Women’s Six Nations referee debuts
  • This year’s Championship will be Australia’s Amber McLachlan’s second as referee
  • Joy Neville of Ireland, who refereed the Rugby World Cup 2017 final, makes her return following maternity leave
  • An experienced group of referees including England’s Sara Cox, South Africa’s Aimee Barrett-Theron, Hollie Davidson of Scotland, France’s Aurélie Groizeleau and Clara Munarini of Italy prepare for their fourth appearance at a Women’s Six Nations
  • This will be the first Women’s Six Nations for assistant referees Maria Latos of Germany and Zimbabwe’s Precious Pazani, while Chris Assmus of Canada will make his TMO debut in the Championship

World Rugby Match Officials Selection Committee Chairman Graham Mourie, said: “The 2022 TikTok Women’s Six Nations is a significant step for our match officials on their journey to Rugby World Cup 2021 in New Zealand and builds on recent selections for the men’s U20 Six Nations.

“Having such a large pool of match top-level officials to select from for Rugby World Cup 2021 is testament to the commitment that has been made by unions around the world to identify and develop high performance match officials, and puts us in great stead ahead of New Zealand later this year.

“I would like to congratulate Lauren, Maggie, Kat and Julianne on being selected to referee their first Women’s Six Nations matches and wish each of the match officials the very best for the tournament.” 

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A core aspect of World Rugby’s Women in Rugby plan is growing sustainable participation across all facets of the game and creating pathways for more women to hold technical roles in rugby, including match officiating. 

The match officials squad selection for Rugby World Cup 2021 will be made in May.