Female referee makes history in Bloem


Hollie Davidson from Scotland will become the first female referee to act as the main match official in a Springbok test when the South Africans – also for the first time – play in a test against Portugal in Bloemfontein.

The 31-year-old Davidson had the rugby world buzzing earlier this year after she became the first Scottish woman to be part of the Six Nations series. She acted as assistant referee in the match between England and Wales at Twickenham.

Her appointment was confirmed by World Rugby on Tuesday, along with the match officials for the June and July matches.

Ireland’s Chris Busby will be the man in the middle when the Boks kick off their 2024 season against Wales at Twickenham in London on June 22, while Australia’s Angus Gardner and England’s Karl Dickson have been appointed to lead the South Africans’ two Tests against deal with Ireland.

South Africa’s AJ Jacobs is in charge of the test between Namibia and Portugal in Windhoek, while Griffin Colby is one of the assistant referees.

Three South African television match officials will also be in action during the mid-year tests. Marius van der Westhuizen, Quinton Immelman and Marius Jonker will watch the action from behind the box.

  • Match Officials for the June/July Test Series

Springboks v Wales (Twickenham, London): Chris Busby (Referee), Christophe Ridley (Assistant Referee), Adam Leal (Assistant Referee) and Mark Patton (TV Referee).

Springboks against Ireland (Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria): Angus Gardner (Referee), Karl Dicksons (Assistant Referee), Mike Adamson (Assistant Referee) and Ben Whitehouse (TV Referee).

Springboks against Ireland (Kingspark, Durban): Karl Dickson (Referee), Angus Gardner (Assistant Referee), Craig Evans (Assistant Referee) and Ian Tempest (TV Referee).

Springboks against Portugal (Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein): Hollie Davidson (Referee), Craig Evans (Assistant Referee), Mike Adamson (Assistant Referee) and Andrew McMenemy (TV Referee).