Rebecca Mahoney will become the first female to referee in New Zealand's premier domestic rugby competition when she officiates the Mitre 10 Cup match between Hawke's Bay and Southland this Friday.
The former Black Fern continues to break new ground for female referees after last year's Mitre 10 Heartland Championship appointment and this season's Otago versus North Otago Ranfurly Shield clash.
New Zealand Rugby (NZR) Chief Rugby Officer Nigel Cass congratulated Mahoney on her latest achievement.
"We're delighted for Rebecca. She's a great ambassador for rugby and refereeing," said Cass.
"Through her hard work and performances, Rebecca is showing there's a pathway for everyone in refereeing. Her family, Provincial Union and the refereeing community can be very proud."
NZR National Referee Manager Bryce Lawrence said that national selectors were pleased with Mahoney's form and continued development.
"It's a great achievement for Rebecca and she has been rewarded through impressive performances and a lot of hard work. We've challenged Bex the past few seasons through Under 19s, Mitre 10 Heartland Championship last year and the Ranfurly Shield game a few weeks ago and she's really taken her opportunities and succeeded.
"Bex has international experience both as a player and a referee and has performed really well in the Sevens Rugby World Cup, Commonwealth Games and Test matches. I'm looking forward to watching her in action on Friday."
The Wairarapa-based farmer is one of six women in the National Referee Squad and made the transition to refereeing in 2015 after a successful playing career that included 16 caps for the Black Ferns.
Since then career highlights include six Test match appointments, three Farah Palmer Cup finals and selection to referee sevens at the Commonwealth Games and Sevens Rugby World Cup.
The week 5 Mitre 10 Cup match between Hawke's Bay and Southland kicks off at McLean Park in Napier on Friday at 5.45pm.