“History will be made in Gallagher Premiership Rugby this weekend as Danae Zamboulis becomes the first-ever female Citing Officer in the competition.  

Zamboulis will preside over Bath Rugby’s clash with Gloucester Rugby at the Recreation Ground, which is live in front of the BT Sport cameras on Saturday at 4.30pm.

 

It is the culmination of a long and distinguished career in rugby that begun when she played representative rugby in Greece, her country of birth.

Having moved to the UK for postgraduate studies, Zamboulis became a fixture of the game in the north west; playing for Cheshire and Birkenhead Park Panthers, as well as coaching the men’s XV at Oxton Parkonians.

RFU Head of Discipline David Barnes said: “Danae only joined the RFU citing team last season and she’s been exceptional from moment one.

“She understands the game and has a really good affinity with what players are trying to achieve.

“It’s really important to have a group of Citing Officers who understand the game and she brings a player’s understanding of disciplinary incidents to the table.

“She also has the attention and eye for detail to identify incidents of foul play and follow the due process from there.”

Best person for the job

Zamboulis was brought to the attention of the RFU by Shaun Gallagher, a highly experienced Citing Officer, who has mentored her and will be alongside her during Saturday’s game.

Her appointment for the West Country derby sees her follow in the footsteps of fellow trailblazers Clare Daniels, who became the first-ever female fourth official in Premiership Rugby two years ago, and the RFU’s first centrally contracted female referee Sara Cox.

Barnes is keen to highlight the enthusiasm of Gallagher Premiership Rugby and the RFU to promote the participation of women in all forms of the game, including as Citing Officers.“We’re actively recruiting and looking for other women to get involved.”

“We want to promote the best people for the job – not based on what they did as a player, or indeed any other reason,” he said.

“You want the best person for the job and the people that have the most recent, relevant experience of playing the game.

“I think Danae has the potential to continue past us and get European fixtures and World Rugby fixtures beyond that.

“We have other women involved on our programmes and we also manage the appointments for the Tyrrells Premier 15s.

“It’s reasonably new as a role but we’re actively recruiting and looking for other women to get involved.

“There are so many women involved with rugby at all levels so it’s important to make sure they’re represented across the game.”

(Courtesy England Rugby website)