The referee appointments for next month’s Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup quarter-final matches featuring nine tournament winners with a combined total of 24 European titles have been announced following a selection committee meeting chaired by EPCR’s Head of Match Officials, Joel Jutge.
France’s Pascal Gauzère will be in charge when the Heineken Champions Cup knockout stage kicks off with the clash of Edinburgh Rugby and Munster Rugby at BT Murrayfield on Saturday, 30 March.
The same day, Nigel Owens of Wales will be in the middle for the head-to-head between No 1-ranked, Saracens, and Glasgow Warriors at Allianz Park, followed at the Aviva Stadium by the first tournament meeting of Leinster Rugby and Ulster Rugby since the 2012 final which will be refereed by France’s Romain Poite.
Then on Sunday, 31 March, Luke Pearce of England will take charge of the all-TOP 14 showdown between second-ranked, Racing 92, and Toulouse at Paris La Défense Arena.
EPCR can also announce the appointments for the Heineken Champions Cup semi-finals on the weekend of 20/21 April with Jérome Garcès of France set to referee Semi-final 1 between the winners of the Saracens v Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh Rugby v Munster Rugby quarter-finals, while England’s Wayne Barnes will be in the middle for Semi-final 2 between the winners of the Leinster Rugby v Ulster Rugby and Racing 92 v Toulouse ties.
The Challenge Cup last-eight matches get underway on Friday, 29 March with the clash of Sale Sharks and Connacht Rugby at the AJ Bell Stadium where France’s Mathieu Raynal will be in charge, and on the following day, Alexandre Ruiz, also of France, will be on the whistle for the all-Gallagher Premiership meeting of Worcester Warriors and Harlequins at Sixways.
The quarter-finals scheduled for Sunday, 31 March between La Rochelle and Bristol Bears at Stade Marcel Deflandre, and between No 1-ranked ASM Clermont Auvergne and Northampton Saints at Stade Marcel-Michelin, will be refereed by Ireland’s John Lacey and George Clancy respectively.
In advance of the knockout stage matches, Europe’s leading match officials will attend a two-day preparation meeting in London.