Joy Neville has effectively broken the glass ceiling in one of the world’s toughest sports after being awarded Referee of the Year at the World Rugby Awards in Monaco.
It has been a remarkable few years for the Limerick woman who represented her country as a player and was a Grand Slam winner.
Joy took centre stage at the Women’s Rugby World Cup final and a senior international test between France and Japan.
Recently she became the first woman to officiate a Champions Cup game as an assistant ref when Montpellier met Exeter Chiefs. In 2014, Joy was in Shannon to ref the Munster Junior Clubs Challenge Cup fixture when St Senan’s defeated Kinsale by 30-7.
For once, the referee was the centre of attention in what was possibly her first official game as a referee for the Munster Branch of the IRFU.