Irish referee Joy Neville has been named World Rugby Referee of the Year at the World Rugby Awards in Monaco.

The Limerick referee was honoured at a gala awards dinner in Monte Carlo, capping off a monumental year for her personally.

Neville officiated at the Women’s Rugby World Cup final, refereed a senior men’s international game and became the first women to officiate in a Champions Cup game.

Accepting the award the former Ireland international player compared her achievements as an official to those she made during her playing days.

Neville spent ten years representing Ireland but called time on her playing career in 2013 after helping Ireland to a Grand Slam.

"It's amazing," Neville said after receiving her award. "I retired in 2013 after we won the Grandslam and to think that I'm stood here after refereeing the Women's World Cup final and I've a lot of people to thank for that.

"A lot of organisations but it's mostly down to my beautiful wife Simona down there, and my family, and I'm completely honoured to be here to receive this and I thank you and everyone who has supported me throughout this journey.

"It’s all about knocking those hurdles down. It’s all about breaking the barriers and creating opportunities for others."

Elsewhere at the award ceremony, New Zealand's Beauden Barrett was named Men's Player of the Year with his compatriot Portia Woodman picking up the women's award.

England head coach Eddie Jones was named Coach of the Year.