Alan Lewis was appointed to referee the Heineken Cup final between Leicester Tigers and London Wasps at Twickenham Stadium on Sunday, 20 May (14.30).

It will be the 42-year-old Irish official’s first Heineken Cup final but his third European final overall as he refereed the 2002 and 2005 European Challenge Cup finals.

“It is an absolute privilege to be entrusted with the Heineken Cup final,” said the man who has also been named among the elite 12 referees for duty at Rugby World Cup 2007 in September.

He was in charge eight days ago when London Wasps beat Northampton Saints in the Heineken Cup semi-final at the Ricoh Arena and he has already taken charge of more European matches than any other referee.

“The final promises to be a very special occasion between two English teams for whom I have the greatest respect, being played at their national ground,” he said.

“I have refereed both clubs twice this year – Leicester in the Heineken Cup quarter-finals and at Twickenham in the final of the EDF Energy Cup and Wasps in Heineken Cup matches in Round 6 and then the semi-finals.”

His 55 matches in ERC tournaments include a tournament record 44 Heineken Cup matches as well as 11 European Challenge Cup matches following his European debut in the latter tournament when Gloucester played Bordeaux-Begles in 1996.

Now it is Euro match No 56 for the Irish referee who played to a senior level at school but, in his first season as a stand-off at the Old Wesley club, suffered a serious knee injury.

(a) Match Officials for Heineken Cup and European Challenge Cup matches are nominated by an ERC Selection Panel made up of Colin High (RFU), Joel Dume (FFR) and Bob Yeman (WRU).
(b) The nominations are submitted to the ERC Match Officials Sub Committee made up of Referee Managers from the six shareholder Unions, who review and confirm the final appointments.