Meet the first female official at men's Rugby World Cup

STORY: "I'd like to think that I'm there because I'm good enough to be there and I have to prove myself."

Joy Neville has made history as the first woman to be selected on a men's Rugby World Cup officiating panel.

The former Ireland player will be part of a seven-member Television Match Official panel for the tournament in France later this year.

"I've always asked to be selected through merit and and for no other reason - drop all the other tags and labels - and I've always been strong to that fact."

Neville captained Ireland as a loose-forward and was part of the side that completed a Grand Slam in the 2013 Women's Six Nations.

She took up refereeing in retirement and became the first woman to take charge of a top level men's game in the United Kingdom in 2018, having been named World Rugby Referee of the Year just a few months earlier.

After the birth of her son, she switched to the role of Television Match Official, or TMO.

"I'd had my baby boy two years ago next month and I so happened to be given the opportunity then to get into TMOing because I wasn't able to be on field and we soon saw that there was an opportunity for me to make it to a men's World Cup as a TMO."

Neville says she understands the significance of the moment, as she prepares to become the first woman to officiate at a men's Rugby World Cup.

But above all else, she wants to be acknowledged for her performance.

"I understand that there has to be a first, and I understand for there to be a first, then the culture will change and hopefully more opportunity will open up for others to come through but from my perspective, all I've ever asked from the lads is to treat me the exact same.”