15 January 2024
~3 minutes read
Joy Neville joining Connacht as Referee Development Manager
Connacht Rugby can today confirm that Joy Neville joins the club to take up a new role as Referee Development Manager. She will retire from officiating at the end of the current season.
As part of her new role, Joy will work with key provincial personnel to recruit, educate and retain referees to provide for the needs of the game, as well as to develop referees from Trainee Referee to National Panel.
Joy played her Club career with Shannon and UL Bohemians and also represented her home province Munster with distinction. In all she won 70 caps for Ireland, captaining the team during the 2009 Women’s Six Nations Championship, leading the Ireland women to their inaugural win over France. She also won a Women’s Six Nations Grand Slam in 2013 and featured in two Women’s Rugby World Cups, in 2006 and 2010.
Upon her retirement from the game, the Limerick woman rose up through the ranks at All-Ireland League, World Rugby 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. 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 alongside three of her IRFU colleagues Andrew Brace, Chris Busby and Brian MacNeice.
Joy Neville said: “When I first took up the whistle after my playing career concluded, I could never have imagined the places the game would take me. To be involved in, firstly, the Women’s Rugby World Cup final was a huge honour and to then progress through to the Men’s Rugby World Cup made me incredibly proud and it’s only when I look back now that I can truly appreciate those achievements. 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.”