New role for Joy Neville

Limerick's Joy Neville will retire from refereeing at the end of this season. Photo: Ben McShane.

LIMERICK’S Joy Neville (Shannon and UL Bohemian) will retire from officiating at the end of the current season and has taken up a new role as the new Referee Development Manager in Connacht, it has been announced.

As part of her new role, the respected whistler will work with key provincial personnel to recruit, educate and retain referees.

As a player, Neville won 70 caps for Ireland, captaining the team during the 2009 Six Nations Championship, leading the side to their inaugural win over France.

She also won a Six Nations Grand Slam in 2013 and featured in two World Cups, in 2006 and 2010.

Upon her retirement from the game, Neville rose up through the ranks at All-Ireland League, World Sevens Series, URC, EPCR Challenge Cup and Champions Cup tournaments. Joy refereed the Women’s Rugby World Cup final in 2017 and won the World Rugby Referee Award that same year.

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She was also appointed for the Women’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in 2021 and a few months ago was named by World Rugby to officiate as a TMO at the Men’s Rugby World Cup in France.

In a statement, Neville said: “To all those who have helped foster my love of the game to this point, especially all my family, friends and mentors in and outside the game, thank you for your support. Although tinged with sadness as one hugely fulfilling chapter closes in my career, I am delighted that I can continue my career in Irish rugby with such an ambitious group in Connacht. I’m grateful for this opportunity and excited to help develop the next crop of match officials across the province in the new year.”