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Sara Cox (rugby union referee)

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Sara Cox (born 1990/91)[1] is an English rugby union referee and former rugby union footballer. In 2016, she became the world's first professional female rugby union referee, and in 2018 she became the first female to referee a Premiership Rugby match.

Sara Cox
Date of birth1990/91
Occupation(s)Rugby union referee
Rugby union career
Refereeing career
Years Competition Apps
2014–
2014–
2018–
2018–
Women's Rugby World Cup
Women's Premiership
Premiership Rugby
Test match
Correct as of 3 November 2018

CareerEdit

As a player, Cox played rugby for Exeter, Saracens, Collumpton and Plymouth Albion, and had trials for England U-21. Aged 17, she decided to retire from playing the sport after an injury, and took up refereeing instead,[1][2] initially part time, whilst also working for a waste management company.[3]

Cox officiated at the 2014 Women's Rugby World Cup in France.[4] In 2016, she became the first female referee to be centrally contracted by the Rugby Football Union (RFU), and the world's first professional female rugby union referee.[1][3][5] In the same year, she officiated the Women's Premiership final between Richmond and Saracens.[6][7] Cox officiated at the rugby sevens event at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.[1][8] She was the only English referee at the tournament.[9]

In February 2017, Cox became the first female to referee a National League 1 match.[10] In the same year, she was chosen by European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) to officiate in the men's Challenge Cup,[7] and also officiated at the 2017 Women's Rugby World Cup in Ireland.[4]

In March 2018, Cox became the first female to referee a RFU Championship match, when she officiated a match between Cornish Pirates and Doncaster Knights.[2][5][10] She officiated at the rugby sevens event at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.[8] In November 2018, Cox became the first female to referee a Premiership Rugby match, when she officiated a match between Northampton Saints and Wasps at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.[10][11][12] She was also selected as an assistant referee for November 2018 men's internationals between Hong Kong and Germany, and between Kenya and Germany. This was the first time that Cox has officiated in a men's international match.[13] In the same month, she officiated a women's international match between France and New Zealand.[11]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d Meagher, Gerard (5 March 2017). "Sara Cox: 'I'd like to leave behind a legacy for other female referees'". The Observer. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Cox breaks barriers in Championship". England Rugby. 8 March 2018. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Sara Cox becomes first female rugby referee to join RFU match official team". The Independent. 10 December 2015. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Match officials announced for Women's Rugby World Cup". Women's Rugby World Cup. 30 March 2017. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Female referee Sara Cox to officiate at Premiership Rugby Cup match". BBC Sport. 31 October 2018. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  6. ^ Hall, Danny (8 March 2016). "For International Women's Day we talked to rugby referee Vicky Muir". Wilts and Glos Standard. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  7. ^ a b Rowan, Kate (8 November 2017). "Women referees go next level in men's rugby". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2 November 2018 – via The New Zealand Herald.
  8. ^ a b Powell, Jennie (9 March 2018). "Rugby referee Sara Cox makes a little bit of history". 4 The Love of Sport. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  9. ^ Pillnick, Brent (12 July 2016). "Sara Cox: England's only referee at Rio 2016 Olympics excited by opportunity". BBC Sport. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  10. ^ a b c Rowan, Kate (31 October 2018). "Sara Cox to make history as first female referee of match between Premiership teams". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  11. ^ a b "Sara Cox proud to be inspiration for female referees after making English rugby history". BBC Sport. 5 November 2018. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  12. ^ "Sara Cox to make English rugby history by refereeing in Premiership Rugby Cup". Sky Sports. 31 October 2018. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  13. ^ "Referees selected for November internationals". England Rugby. 10 October 2018. Retrieved 3 November 2018.