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Nigel Owens and Joy Neville set for historic achievements in November

Nigel Owens Joy Neville

These will be special days.

Welsh referee Nigel Owens and Irish referee Joy Neville will both make history in November when they play their part in officiating matches in the inaugural Autumn Nations Cup in November.

Nigel Owens Joy Neville

By refereeing the match between France and Italy in the Autumn Nations Cup, Owens will become the first referee in the history of the sport to officiate 100 tests.

Nigel Owens made his test refereeing debut in February 2003 when he took charge of the match between Portugal and Georgia.

Irish referee Neville will also reach a significant milestone in November. The Limerick native will become the first woman to perform Television Match Official (TMO) duties in a major international competition.

Nigel Owens Joy Neville

Joy Neville will act as TMO for the match between Wales and Georgia and also Scotland v Fiji.

Bill Beaumont: “A remarkable achievement.”

“On behalf of everyone at World Rugby, I would like to say a big congratulations to Nigel Owens on selection for his 100th test,” World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont said.

“It is a remarkable achievement and testament to his passion for refereeing, his character, unwavering dedication to the highest possible performance and fitness standards and his adaptability over an impressive career that has so far spanned 17 years. It will be a massively popular milestone for the sport to celebrate.

“In addition, we would like to congratulate Joy Neville on her TMO appointments. As part of World Rugby’s transformational women’s strategy, we are committed to accelerating development of women in rugby through diversifying and normalising women in leadership positions, both on and off the field.

“Joy, like all the appointed referees, has earned this opportunity and we look forward to watching the referee panel back out officiating the game at the highest level.”

Elsewhere, Karl Dickson and Mike Adamson will referee their first major international tests. Dickson will take charge of France v Wales on October 24 while Adamson will be the man in the middle for England’s clash with the Barbarians at Twickenham on October 25.

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Author: Sean McMahon

Sean is Deputy Editor and head rugby writer. You can contact him by email seanmc@punditarena.com or on Twitter