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Promising South African women’s referee Ashleigh Murray has been named as one of six referees to officiate at the World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series Qualifier in Hong Kong on 6 and 7 April in a big career boost for the 22-year-old.

The referee panel for the tournament comprises of talented referees who are not members of the official World Rugby panels.

Murray has progressed steadily through the domestic women’s referee ranks in the last few years, where she has been named on the SA Rugby women’s panel since 2014.

Her growling list of achievements include taking charge of the SA Rugby Women’s Interprovincial final between Border and Western Province last season and the Women’s Interprovincial B Section final in 2016. She also officiated at the U15 Iqhawe Week in Johannesburg last year.

“We are very proud of Ashleigh,” said SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux.

“The Women’s World Series Qualifier is a significant tournament, as the winner will earn a spot as a core team in the 2018/19 Women’s Sevens Series circuit, so we wish her luck.“Ashleigh is a dedicated referee with a fantastic work ethic and great ambition, and this could be the start of great things to come in future.”

Roux added: “We pride ourselves on our referee structures in South Africa, and to have two women, Aimee Barrett-Theron and Ashleigh, making their presence felt in international tournaments shows that we are on the right track. They are certainly an inspiration for all young women looking to take up the whistle.”

The other referees named on the World Series Qualifier panel are Katherine Ritchie (England), Lauren Jenner (New Zealand), Maddy Putz and Tyler Miller (Australia) and Emily Hsieh (USA).

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