Nigel Owens of Wales will be in charge when holders and three-time winners, RC Toulon, begin the defence of their European Rugby Champions Cup title against Bath Rugby at Stade Félix Mayol on Sunday, 15 November.
The vastly-experienced Owens, who will be refereeing his 86th match in Europe’s elite club tournament, is among the appointments for Rounds 1 and 2 of the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup announced today by EPCR’s selection committee which is chaired by EPCR’s Head of Match Officials, Donal Courtney.
Click here for the referee appointments for Rounds 1 and 2 of the 2015/16 Champions Cup and the Challenge Cup
The 2015/16 Champions Cup campaign gets underway at Welford Road on Friday, 13 November with the Pool 4 meeting of Leicester Tigers and reigning Top 14 champions, Stade Francais Paris, which will be refereed by Ireland’s John Lacey.
George Clancy of Ireland has been appointed for the Pool 1 clash of last season’s Aviva Premiership winners, Saracens, and Toulouse at Allianz Park on Saturday, 14 November, while the Stade Yves-du-Manoir confrontation in Pool 3 between Racing 92 and Guinness PRO12 champions, Glasgow Warriors, will see JP Doyle of England in charge.
The history-making first appearance of a Russian club in European competition when Enisei-STM take on Connacht Rugby in the Challenge Cup in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia on Saturday, 14 November will be refereed by Thomas Charrabas of France.
Ireland’s Andrew Brace will referee Challenge Cup holders Gloucester Rugby’s opening game in Pool 4 against Zebre Rugby at Kingsholm on Saturday, 14 November, and Ian Davies of Wales will be in the middle for the kick-off of the European club season when three-time Challenge Cup winners, Harlequins, host Montpellier at the Twickenham Stoop in Pool 3 on Thursday, 12 November.
The 20 clubs in each of the tournaments have qualified on merit for the 21st season of European club rugby through their performances in the continent’s three leading professional leagues, or via a play-off series, or from the Challenge Cup Qualifying Competition.
This season there will be no Champions Cup play-offs with the winner of the Challenge Cup qualifying directly for the 2016/17 tournament, and the destiny of the prized silverware for both competitions will be decided at the Grand Stade de Lyon with the Challenge Cup final scheduled for Friday, 13 May 2016 and the Champions Cup final going ahead the following day.