Rebecca Mahoney .. first woman to referee a Ranfurly Shield game in July. PHOTO/GETTY IMAGES

RUGBY

CHRIS COGDALE
chris.cogdale@age.co.nz

The accolades keep coming for Wairarapa-Bush rugby referee Rebecca Mahoney.

The Alfredton farmer has been named as an assistant referee for Super Rugby next season, becoming the first New Zealand woman to gain that status.

Mahoney said yesterday her selection was another stepping-stone for her career.

“It’s nice to be there. I can’t wait, it’s another great opportunity, it’s cool.”

Mahoney was uncertain what games she will have at this stage.

“I will get to referee a couple of Super Rugby Development games, and that will be good preparation for the Women’s Six-Nations” she said.

“I go over on March 1 for the last two rounds and because we’ll have had no rugby, those games will be a good build-up.”

Mahoney will referee the Ireland-Italy clash in Dublin, followed by Wales-Scotland in Cardiff.

Mahoney is also the only Heartland referee named on the national panel for next year.

Her selection comes after a stellar year, in which she became the first woman to referee a Ranfurly Shield match, [Otago versus North Otago], and the first woman to referee a Mitre 10 Cup game – Hawke’s Bay-Southland.

Mahoney was a finalist in the New Zealand Rugby Referee of the Year award but missed out to fellow international Paul Williams at last Thursday’s awards’ ceremony.

Mahoney follows Australian Amy Perrett, who became the first woman to be an assistant referee for a Super Rugby match in the 2016 Melbourne Rebels-Stormers match.