Leinster’s Helen O’Reilly has been given the honour of refereeing the hosts in the last match of an action-packed opening day of the Women’s Rugby World Cup in France when it kicks off on Friday.
The match sees the reigning Grand Slam champions take on Wales in what is a vital match for both teams with the losers’ hopes of reaching the last-four seriously dented.
It promises to be a fantastic occasion with a large crowd and the game being broadcast live on Sky Sports 3.
Since being selected for the World Cup match official panel last April no stone has been left unturned in Helen O’Reilly’s training with IRFU referee development officer Dave O’Brien overseeing her preparation.
Dave outlined: “We have ensured that Helen has been getting top class technical support from a referee coaching perspective.
“She has also been on a strict conditioning and nutrition program overseen by Irish Women’s team conditioning coach Marian Earls and IRFU performance nutritionist Ruth Wood-Martin respectively and we have seen significant improvements in all aspects of her refereeing.”
As part of her preparation, Helen refereed three international matches over the summer – taking charge of England v USA twice followed by Ireland v Wales in Malahide RFC on July 20.
IRFU director of referees Owen Doyle wished Helen the best of luck, stating: “We are delighted with Helen’s appointment in the opening round of the tournament.
“Her hard work, dedication and strong refereeing performances have propelled her into the top handful of female referees in the world.
“This is in keeping with our strong tradition of providing top quality referees on the world stage. We in the IRFU wish her all the best of luck this Friday and over the course of the tournament.”