World Rugby has confirmed the Emirates World Rugby Match Official appointments for the TikTok Women’s Six Nations 2023, which runs from 25 March to 29 April.
A total of 10 match officials representing nine nations will take charge of the 15 tests with Amber McLachlan (Australia) having the honour of refereeing the opening match when Wales host Ireland at Cardiff Arms Park.
Rugby World Cup 2021 final referee Hollie Davidson (Scotland) will take charge of Ireland v France in Cork on 1 April, while Sara Cox (England) will take charge of the last match, Scotland v Ireland, on 29 April in what is her ninth Women’s Six Nations.
The Championship marks the first test matches since the record-breaking Rugby World Cup 2021 in New Zealand when England and France both finished on the podium behind the host nation.
- Kat Roche (USA) joins the nine referees from the Rugby World Cup 2021 panel in taking charge of a TikTok Women’s Six Nations 2023 match
- Fifteen of the 18-strong RWC 2021 match officials team involved in the 2023 Championship
- Maggie Cogger-Orr (New Zealand), Lauren Jenner (New Zealand), Joy Neville (Ireland), Aimee Barrett-Theron (South Africa) and Aurélie Groizeleau (France) to each referee two matches
- Barrett-Theron to oversee the historic match between England and France at Twickenham on 29 April
- Mary Pringle (Scotland), Maria Heitor (Portugal) and Adele Robert (Belgium) all make Women’s Six Nations debuts as assistant referees
- Ben Blain and Andrew McMenemy (both Scotland) will make their Championship debuts as Television Match Officials
Appointments are merit-based and have been made following a thorough review of Rugby World Cup 2021 and other international and domestic competitions.
World Rugby Selection Committee Chairman Graham Mourie said: “The TikTok Women’s Six Nations 2023 kicks off a new era of international women’s rugby and these appointments provide another opportunity for a hardworking and talented group of match officials to help facilitate exciting test matches in a pivotal time for women’s rugby.
“The group selected contains a strong mix of experience and proven young talent and we have every confidence that they will be well prepared and ready to perform from the opening kick-off to the final whistle.
“I would like to congratulate Mary, and Maria and Adele, who both make history as the first assistant referees from Portugal and Belgium respectively, to be selected for the Women’s Six Nations and wish each of the match officials the very best for the tournament.”
World Rugby High Performance Women's Referee Manager Alhambra Nievas said: “We are excited to kick off an exciting year of women’s test match rugby at the TikTok Women’s Six Nations 2023 following a successful Rugby World Cup 2021 in New Zealand with an experienced, talented and hardworking team of match officials.
“Ahead of the tournament getting underway, we will gather as a group for a three-day camp to focus on our preparation, including physical and technical sessions, mental preparedness, fitness and team cohesion, which is vital for us to perform our best as a group.”