TEENAGE referee Amber Stamp-Dunstan is set to make her international debut just two years after first picking up a whistle.

Chepstow-based Stamp-Dunstan started officiating on a Welsh Rugby Union Ready to Ref course for women and girls and despite the long break due to coronavirus is ready to be in charge at the Budapest leg of the Rugby Europe Women's Trophy Series this weekend.

It has been a rapid rise for the former Monmouth Comprehensive pupil after she swapping playing for reffing.

She said: "I always played rugby growing up but when I got injured at 16 and this opportunity came up, my family encouraged me to go for it and I'm so glad I did.

"I really enjoyed the two-day course. We all enjoy shouting at the ref on the telly but when you're in the middle it gives you a whole new perspective for referees.

"I then started refereeing girls' under 15 games and progressed to senior women's rugby, which I really enjoyed along with male youth and senior rugby.

"Refereeing has done wonders for my knowledge of the game and I've gained a lot of self-confidence.

"I've been really well-supported at all levels of my development, from referee assessors and coaches watching my games and giving me feedback to the Gwent Referees' Society who sort out the fixtures and Sean Brickell from the WRU is always available at the end of a phone with any advice or if I have a question about a game I'm watching."

Stamp-Dunstan, who played for Lydney from the age of six, made use of the lockdown periods to hone her fitness and knowledge of the game but she is relishing the chance to experience international rugby this weekend.

"Rugby is always on in my house and even more so in lockdown. I've also been able to focus on my training - speed and running technique has been a real target for me," she said.

"I've enjoyed every step of my journey so far, I'm giving it 100 per cent and I'll see where it takes me.

"I'm certainly looking forward to this opportunity to step up another gear and challenging myself. To represent Wales on the pitch is a dream come true.

"I've got ambitions to go as far as possible with it so we'll just have to see what happens."

She has made an impression on Brickell, the Abertillery official who is the Union's referee development lead.

He said, "Amber has a huge enthusiasm and love for the game along with a great will to keep learning. She is only 19 and with the right support and guidance

"I believe she has the potential to become a very successful female referee. She's very hard-working and I'm confident her drive and motivation will take her a long way in the game as a referee."

Women and girls keen to find out more about refereeing can email sbrickell@wru.wales