New Zealand's leading female rugby referee will make history on Friday night.
Rebecca Mahoney will become the first female to take charge of a Mitre 10 Cup match, when Hawke's Bay host Southland in Napier and she won't be shying away from any future opportunities to blaze a trail for female officials.
Mahoney discovered, via a text message from New Zealand Rugby referees boss Bryce Lawrence, that she'd earned the right to referee in the national provincial competition.
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Four years ago, Mahoney picked up the whistle, after ending a playing career that included two World Cup wins with the Black Ferns.
"I thought refereeing would be a good opportunity to stay at home and keep the feet on the ground," Mahoney told Newshub. "But it's kind of eventuated to be the complete opposite, so the poor kids see me less now as a referee."
She's since refereed women's test matches, Heartland Championship games and this year became the first woman to control a Ranfurly Shield game.
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