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In first for rugby, international refereed by all-women officials

In a rugby first, the men’s international between Italy and Portugal on Saturday was refereed by an all-women line-up of officials.

Hollie Davidson, the referee from Scotland, was assisted on the pitch by England’s Sara Cox and Aurelie Groizeleau of France.

Another Englishwoman, Claire Hodnett, was the television match official for Italy’s 38-31 win in Lisbon shown live on Portuguese television.

As well as being the first men’s rugby Test officiated entirely by women, it was also the first time a woman referee had taken charge of a side, Italy, figuring in the Six Nations.

Davidson in 2017 became the first woman full-time professional rugby referee, appointed by the Scottish federation.

Up to Saturday she had refereed games in the United Rugby Championship and Challenge Cup.

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