TWO female referees from Oxford are looking to attract more women to officiate in rugby union.

Chrissy Clark and Nomtha Gray joined 48 other referees to launch a new campaign, prior to England’s win against Japan, at Twickenham earlier this month.

The 50 referees were presented with a whistle, blowing them in unison to mark the beginning of the campaign.

Clark said: “I love the game, I love being around the game with like-minded people, and I love the club, community and family feel.

“I’m nearing the end of my playing career now, but I want to be involved with rugby beyond that.

“Coaching wasn’t something I fancied doing, but by refereeing, I can be on a pitch involved in a game, but without the bumps, bashes and scrapes that goes along with being a player.”

The project is being led by RFU match official developer Leonie Pryor, with the goal of inspiring 500 new female rugby referees by the end of 2024.

She said: “Seeing these amazing women taking to the pitch ahead of the game in front of a packed Twickenham gave me goosebumps.

“The sound of 50 whistles reverberating around the ground was enough to stop everyone in their tracks.”