Hollie Davidson

2021 Inductee

  • Commonwealth and Olympic Game Referee
  • Scottish Rugby First Female Professional Referee
  • Graduated in 2014 MA Economic History
Video: Hollie Davidson 2021 Inductee to the University of Edinburgh Sports Hall of Fame
Introduction to Hollie Davidson, trail-blazing rugby referee, and her induction to the University of Edinburgh Sports Hall of Fame

Hollie is a pioneering and inspirational role model who became Scottish Rugby’s first full-time female professional referee in 2017. Since then, she has officiated at the very highest level of the game including the Olympic and Commonwealth Games.

Hollie restarted playing rugby at University and from the first training session, her talent was clear. In her debut 2010 season, she was selected for the Scotland U20 team, which she continued to be part of until 2012. A senior cap was only denied by injury.

During her studies, she was dedicated to the Edinburgh University Ladies Rugby Club, serving as Club Vice-Captain in 2011-12 and Club Captain twice, in 2012-13 and 2013-14. Her selfless investment in the Club was recognised with a Ladies Rugby Half-Blue in 2011-12 and Ladies Rugby Colours in 2013-14.

In 2015, largely because of a stubborn shoulder injury, Hollie switched her focus to refereeing and built an expert understanding of the sport’s rules, tactics and game situations.  Her potential to become a top class rugby official became immediately apparent. Hollie forfeited a lucrative graduate career in financial services to become a professional referee courtesy of a development opportunity with Scottish Rugby.  Since then, her officiating career has blossomed superbly.

In 2017, she was selected as assistant referee for the Rugby World Cup final. She followed this by refereeing at the Rugby Europe International Championships, becoming the first female referee at the world famous Melrose 7’s tournament in 2018. That year, she was also selected for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Rugby 7s Tournament refereeing the Bronze medal match as well as being the assistant referee in the Gold medal match of the Women’s 7’s Rugby World Cup in San Francisco.

Since 2019, she has regularly officiated in the Women’s 6 Nations Tournament. Hollie was also selected to officiate at the at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games 7s Tournament where she was the assistant referee in the Gold medal match, and in 2021 she became only the 2nd female to be appointed to referee the Men’s Pro 14 match (Munster vs Benneton). Hollie’s career continues to go from strength to strength with outings expected at more prestigious events in the years ahead.

Hollie is one of Scotland’s, and World rugby’s most inspiring and trail blazing sporting officials, and exemplifies the vital role they play in sport at every level.