Zim rugby referee Pazani to officiate upcoming global events

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By Sports Reporter

LEADING Zimbabwean rugby referee Precious Pazani is set to achieve another major milestone in her career after being named as one of the officials that will take charge in two upcoming global events this winter.

Pazani has been included by the game’s global governing body, World Rugby on the referees’ panel for both the World Rugby Under-20s Championship and World Rugby Under-20 Trophy.

The World Rugby Under-20s Championship will start on June 24 in South Africa. Zimbabwe is one of the participating nations at the World Rugby Under-20 Trophy which kicks off in Kenya on July 15.

Pazani and Kat Roche from the USA will become the first female officials to referee at the World Rugby U-20 Trophy  tournament.

Prior to the duo’s history-making milestone, Hollie Davidson from Scotland will become the first female official to referee at the Under-20 Championship.

The 12-team Under-20 Championship will run until July 14, while the U20 Trophy, featuring eight teams, will end on July 30.

The U20s Championship will be using the Smartball and the Television Match Official (TMO) Bunker system for the first time.

Matteo Liperini (Italy), Ben Blain (Scotland), Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa) will be the TMOs operating in South Africa.

For Pazani, the latest assignment comes after she impressed during the World Rugby Challenger Series in South Africa last month.

Pazani officiated at last year’s Rugby World Cup Sevens last year in addition to other international assignments at the Dubai Invitational Sevens and the Cape Town Sevens at the end of 2022.

During the Cape Town event, Pazani made history when she became the first Zimbabwean referee to handle a World Rugby Sevens Series match.

The 32-year-old also proudly lifted the country’s flag in the TikTok Women’s Six Nations, where she was an assistant referee during the match between England and Scotland on the competition’s opening day.