Heineken Cup tournament organisers ERC have today announced the match officials for the 2007 Heineken Cup quarter-finals which kick-off at the end of March.
France’s Joel Jutge (42 Heineken Cup matches), Ireland’s Alan Lewis (42) and England’s Chris White (41) will be joined by Wales’ Nigel Owens (21) in taking charge of the action.
It will be White’s 10th Heineken Cup knock-out game when he controls the opening quarter-final between Llanelli Scarlets and Munster at Stradey Park on Friday, 30 March.
White is the only man to have refereed three Heineken Cup finals and was the official in charge when Munster won the title at the Millennium Stadium last season.
He has already refereed the Scarlets once this season, when they won 41-34 in Toulouse before Christmas.
Joel Jutge will be at Adams Park for the clash between London Wasps and Leinster on Saturday, 31 March, while Alan Lewis will be at Welford Road a day later for the re-match of the 2001 final between Leicester Tigers and Stade Francais Paris.
It will be the fourth time Jutge has been in charge of a knock-out game involving Leinster. He was in the middle when Munster ran out 30-6 winners in last season’s semi-final at Lansdowne Road, when Leicester Tigers won the 2005 quarter-final at the same venue 29-13 and at Welford Road in 2002 when the Tigers triumphed 29-18.
It will be his third game involving London Wasps, and he was in charge of the quarter-final at Adams Park in 2004 when the home side beat Gloucester 34-3 on their way to the title.
Lewis has already taken charge of five Heineken Cup quarter-finals and one of those was at Welford Road when the Tigers beat Swansea 41-10 in 2001 on their way to a final shoot-out with Stade Francais at Parc des Princes.
The Irish official has refereed both sides in the tournament this season – the Tigers at the Millennium Stadium when they beat Cardiff Blues 21-17 and Stade Francais at Parc des Princes when they overcame English champions Sale Sharks 27-16.
Nigel Owens, who was on duty in every round in the Pool stages, will go into his first Heineken Cup quarter-final hot on the heels of having controlled his first RBS Six Nations match this season between England and Italy at Twickenham.
THE HEINEKEN CUP QUARTER FINAL OFFICIALS 2007 (Local times)
Friday, 30 March – Llanelli Scarlets v Munster 1930 hrs
Referee: Chris White (England)
Touch Judges: Tony Spreadbury, Peter Huckle (England)
TMO: Graham Hughes (England)
Saturday, 31 March – London Wasps v Leinster 1745 hrs
Referee: Joel Jutge (France)
Touch Judges: Franck Maciello, Jean-Luc Rebollal (France)
TMO: Gerard Borreani (France)
Sunday, 1 April – Biarritz Olympique v Northampton Saints 1400 hrs Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Touche Judges: Hugh Watkins, Huw Griffiths (Wales)
TMO: Derek Bevan (Wales)
Sunday. 1 April – Leicester Tigers v Stade Francais Paris 1530 hrs
Referee: Alan Lewis (Ireland)
Touch Judges: Alain Rolland, Olan Trevor (Ireland)
TMO: David McHugh (Ireland)