British female rugby referee Sara Cox will gain her first experience of officiating at men’s international rugby thus autumn when she acts as assistant referee for the Kenya v Germany and Hong Kong v Germany games in World Cup qualifying in Marseilles.
But today, she will become the first female referee for a match between two English Premiership pClubs when Wasps take on Northampton Saints at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry. She will join three other women also officiating at Premiership Rugby games.
The 28-year-old decided to make the switch to refereeing after her playing career was ended through injury. In 2015, she became the world’s first professional female rugby referral’s when she was contracted by the Rugby Football Union and trains at Twickenham twice a week with nine male counterparts.
As well as refereeing in the women’s World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, she is considered to be the leading official in the women’s sevens, having taken charge of the Commonwealth Games World Cup finals this year.