December 17th, 2008
Rugby Football Union Referee and Somerset-based Clare Daniels has been called up to officiate in the 2009 iRB Rugby World Cup 7s in Dubai in March.
Daniels is the only female referee from England to have been given the nod, though she will be joined by the RFU's Andrew Small who has also been named.
Daniels is one of four female referees to take part in the first ever combined men and women's 7s Rugby World Cup. The three other female referees come from the USA, Canada and Hong Kong.
This will be Daniels' second Rugby World Cup experience having also officiated in the iRB 2006 Women's Rugby World Cup in Canada. Most recently she has also refereed at the Marbella 7s, Bath Charity 7s and the World University 7s Championships in Spain, where she took charge of the men's quarter-final between Spain and Italy.
Daniels has been refereeing for seven years and is the first women to have refereed in the National Leagues.
She said: "To be selected to represent your country is an honour, and to be picked for an IRB tournament, especially a World Cup event, is what most referees' dream of. I wasn't having the best of days at work when the call came through from the RFU this week, so to say it brightened up my day is an understatement.
"7s presents many different challenges to the 15-a-side game and it's definitely an incentive not to overindulge this Christmas as the tournament in Dubai is just over ten weeks away. It's certainly a long way from my first game, Ivel Barbarians v North Petherton thirds, but there's something to be learned from every match."