Ashleigh goes to Hong Kong
Ashleigh Murray is 22 and she is going places. This time it is to Hong Kong in April, her first expedition abroad to referee rugby.
The occasion is the qualifying tournament for World Rugby's Women’s Sevens Series Qualifier. It takes place on 6 and 7 April 2018.
Ashleigh is already ranked amongst the top women referees in South Africa and is ready to take on the world.
Her interest in rugby refereeing started when she was in Grade 8 (old Std 6) at St Martin's School in Rosettenville, Johannesburg - when she was 13. That is nine years ago.
Five years later she, a member of the Golden Lions Referees' Society, was invited to the SA Rugby High Performance Centre in Stellenbosch. Two weeks later, still 18, she was chosen to be onto the SA Rugby Referees Panel. Last year she refereed the final of the women's Division A Interprovincial competition between Border and Western Province, and she did it really well.
Ashleigh is remarkably fit, has an excellent knowledge of the laws and has benefited from the mentoring of Aimee Barrett-Theron, who this wekk will again berefereeing a women's Six Nations match.
The other referees named on the World Series Qualifier panel are Katherine Ritchie (England), Lauren Jenner (New Zealand), Maddy Putz (Australia), Tyler Miller (Australia) and Emily Hsieh (USA).