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Referees announced for Women’s Six Nations

Nikki O'Donnell will referee two games in the 2021 Women's Six NAtions

Nikki O’Donnell will officiate two of the six pool matches in the upcoming Women’s Six Nations as part of an all-female referee and assistant referee crew for the 2021 Championship.

O’Donnell first refereed a Women’s Six Nations match in 2019 and this year will take charge of the Round 1 fixture between France and Wales in Vannes on the opening day before doing likewise in the Scotland v Italy contest at Scotstoun a fortnight later.

The RFU official is the only person taking the whistle for two pool-stage matches, while Italy’s Clara Munarini is the other Round 1 referee as she controls England v Scotland at Castle Park in Doncaster.

A week later, Aurélie Groizeleau (FFR) will officiate the clash between Italy and England in Padova and Hollie Davidson (SRU), who took charge of her first men’s Guinness PRO14 match earlier this month, is in charge of Ireland’s trip to Cardiff to face Wales.

Then O’Donnell will be joined as a Round 3 referee by fellow English official Sara Cox – who became the world’s first professional female rugby referee back in 2016 – as she calls the shots at Ireland v France in Dublin.

Sara Cox will referee in the 2021 Women's Six Nations

In addition to the above referees running the line in matches they aren’t officiating, Maria Pacifico (FIR), Katherine Ritchie (RFU), Francesca Martin (WRU), Beatrice Benvenuti (FIR) and Doriane Domenjo (FFR) all have at least one game as an assistant referee.

Experienced officials Joy Neville (IRFU) and Claire Hodnett (RFU) will each be the TMO for one Round 1 and one Round 3 contest apiece, with Neil Paterson (SRU) and Marius Mitrea (FIR) as the television officials for the pair of Round 2 matches.

This year’s Championship will consist of two pools of three teams before concluding with Super Saturday Finals Day on 24 April, where every side plays the opposing ranked team from the other pool.

The referees for that Super Saturday Finals Day have not yet been announced.

ROUND 1 (*all kick-off times BST) 

England v Scotland – Saturday, 3 April, 2021. Kick-off: 15:00
Venue: Castle Park, Doncaster

Referee: Clara Munarini (FIR)
Assistant Referee 1: Aurélie Groizeleau (FFR)
Assistant Referee 2: Maria Pacifico (FIR)
TMO: Joy Neville (IRFU)

France v Wales – Saturday, 3 April, 2021. Kick-off: 20:00
Venue: Stade de la Rabine, Vannes

Referee: Nikki O’Donnell (RFU)
Assistant Referee 1: Hollie Davidson (SRU)
Assistant Referee 2: Katherine Ritchie (RFU)
TMO: Claire Hodnett (RFU)

ROUND 2 

Italy v England – Saturday, 10 April, 2021. Kick-off: 14:00
Venue: Stadio Plebiscito, Padova

Referee: Aurélie Groizeleau (FFR)
Assistant Referee 1: Doriane Domenjo (FFR)
Assistant Referee 2: Francesca Martin (WRU)
TMO: Neil Paterson (SRU)

Wales v Ireland – Saturday 10 April, 2021. Kick-off: 17:00
Venue: Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff

Referee: Hollie Davidson (SRU)
Assistant Referee 1: Sara Cox (RFU)
Assistant Referee 2: Maria Pacifico (FIR)
TMO: Marius Mitrea (FIR)

ROUND 3 

Ireland v France – Saturday 17 April, 2021. Kick-off: 14:15
Venue: Energia Park, Donnybrook, Dublin

Referee: Sara Cox (RFU)
Assistant Referee 1: Clara Munarini (FIR)
Assistant Referee 2: Beatrice Benvenuti (FIR)
TMO: Claire Hodnett (RFU)

Scotland v Italy – Saturday 17 April, 2021. Kick-off: 17:00
Venue: Scotstoun Stadium, Glasgow

Referee: Nikki O’Donnell (RFU)
Assistant Referee 1: Aurelie Groizeleau (FFR)
Assistant Referee 2: Doriane Domenjo (FFR)
TMO: Joy Neville (IRFU)