A special appearance will be made at the 16th TAS Rugby Carnival this weekend.
Taking the field with a whistle will be the first official school duty at TAS for Dr Rachel Horton, who will become the 15th head of the school next term.
Dr Horton - who holds a PhD in immunology and has had a tour of duty in Iraq as a captain with the British Army - played representative rugby union in England and Canada for more than a decade before retiring to become a referee 11 years ago.
She has refereed international matches and was the first woman to referee Premier Rugby in Queensland.
On Sunday, she will officiate in the Rugby Carnival's grand final.
"We are delighted that Dr Horton is able to be with us for this signature Armidale event, which has a wonderful reputation for the way it brings both the TAS and rugby communities together," said Huon Barrett, the carnival's convenor.
Ten teams from non-metropolitan NSW will take part in this year's carnival, slimmed down due to the pandemic - which forced last year's event to be cancelled.
There may be fewer players than in past years but there will be no less passion, Barrett said.
"Months and months go into the planning of the carnival and at the time, making the call to restrict the event to regional NSW was absolutely the right thing to do," he said.
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