Hollie Davidson and Joy Neville to undertake referee and TMO roles at Munster-Benetton game

Davidson was scheduled to referee previous European Challenge Cup and Pro14 games
Davidson has already been an assistant in the men's game in the Pro14 and European competitions

Scotland's Hollie Davidson will referee her first top-tier men's game on Friday as Munster host Benetton, with Joy Neville the television match official.

Davidson, 28, was scheduled to referee European Challenge Cup and Pro14 games in January in February, only for both matches to be postponed.

Neville's presence will make it the first time a top-tier men's game has had both a female referee and TMO.

Irishwoman Neville refereed her first Pro14 game in February 2018.

Davidson, who became Scotland's first female professional referee in 2017, follows in the footsteps of Neville in becoming the second woman to take charge of a Pro14 fixture.

The Scottish woman, who represented her country at under-20 level, was scheduled to referee her first men's professional game in January in the European Challenge Cup tie between Newcastle Falcons and Castres.

That game was called off following the postponement of the two rounds of European Club Rugby games scheduled for January and her scheduled Pro14 refereeing debut last month also fell by the wayside after Glasgow's game against Benetton didn't take place because of bad weather.

"It is very rewarding to see Hollie Davidson earn the right to make her debut this Friday after the disappointment of the postponement a few weeks ago," said the Pro14's elite referee manager Greg Garner.

"It is also ground-breaking for the sport that Joy has been selected as the TMO for the game.

"We have a competitive group of referees now and it is great to see younger officials pushing through looking to hold the whistle on the biggest occasions."

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