Zim rugby ref Pazani to officiate in two upcoming global events.


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 glob 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 while Zimbabwe is one of the participation nations at the World Rugby Under-20 Trophy which kicks off in Kenya on July 15.

Pazani, alongside Kat Roche from the United States of America (USA) will become the first female officials to referee at the World Rugby U-20 Trophy tournament.

Prior to Pazani and Roche’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.

World Rugby has also collaborated with Sportable and Gilbert to undertake the world’s first trial of smart ball technology in a live match officiating capacity at the U20 Championship. The technology, which uses artificial intelligence, will help match officials to make accurate decisions more quickly, tackling a number of common, but challenging aspects of the law.

The trio or 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.



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