The 26-year-old will become the first female referee worldwide to officiate internationally in the male ranks.

If follows on from Sarah’s breakthrough 2006 when she became the first woman to referee a Women’s Rugby World Cup semi-final, taking charge of the England-Canada match in Edmonton in September.

Sarah, now in her tenth year of whistle-blowing, was also the first female in the ACT, NSW or Queensland to referee a first-grade match and was honoured with an ACT Government Sports Achievement Award for her contribution to the sport in September 2006.

Joining her in Belfast will be the Ford Australian Under 19s, defending the World Championship claimed last year in a thrilling final against New Zealand in Dubai.

The 17-day tournament has proven to be a springboard for many current international players, including Qantas Wallabies Mark Chisholm, Phil Waugh, Stirling Mortlock and Nathan Sharpe.

Julian Pritchard, also from Canberra will join Sarah as a referee in Belfast in April, a double honour for Australia’s refereeing ranks.