THREE women rugby officials from Somerset proudly flew the flag for the county alongside 47 other female referees at Twickenham.

They took to the pitch ahead of the England v Japan men's international as part of a campaign to attract 500 more female refs to the sport by the end of 2024.

Lucy Smith, Holly Feller and Rebecca Kettleborough travelled from Somerset to join in the launch of the campaign, organised by The Rugby Football Union and ACME Whistles.

The 50 referees surrounded the national flags on the pitch, alongside the players and dignitaries during the national anthems, in front of the 81,000 strong crowd.

RFU match official developer and referee Leonie Pryor said: "Seeing these amazing women taking to the pitch ahead of the game this weekend in front of a packed Twickenham gave me goosebumps.

“Each of the referees who joined us is such a credit to the sport and seeing them all come together and share this amazing experience – whilst also sending out a call for others to join in the movement – was incredible.”

Ahead of the game, each of the referees at the stadium were presented with a one-of-a-kind ACME whistle, to recognize their contribution to the sport.

Rebecca Kettleborough, from Weston-super-Mare, said: "I want to carry on my rugby career after playing end.

“I love being involved, the challenge, the learning, and the continual professional development.

"I get to meet so many people, clubs, teams, and other referees. I want to facilitate a game so people can play the sport they love.”