One of the world’s most experienced referees, England’s Wayne Barnes, will be in charge of a major clash in the Heineken Champions Cup Round of 16 when two former tournament winners, Munster Rugby and Toulouse, go head-to-head on Saturday, 3 April.
Barnes’s selection for the high-profile fixture at Thomond Park live on BT Sport is a feature of the referee appointments for the start of the knockout stages of the Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup which have been announced on Thursday, 18 March by EPCR’s Match Officials Selection Committee.
Ben Whitehouse of Wales will be in the middle for the showdown between holders, Exeter Chiefs, and Lyon at Sandy Park also on Saturday, 3 April while on the same day, Ireland’s Frank Murphy has been appointed for the meeting of Wasps and ASM Clermont Auvergne at the Ricoh Arena.
On Sunday, 4 April, Luke Pearce of England will be in charge when last season’s defeated finalists, Racing 92, host Edinburgh Rugby at Paris La Défense Arena, Scotland’s Mike Adamson has been appointed for the Bordeaux-Bègles v Bristol Bears tie at Stade Chaban-Delmas and the meeting of Scarlets and Sale Sharks at Parc y Scarlets will be refereed by Mathieu Raynal of France.
The Heineken Champions Cup Round of 16 gets underway on Friday, 2 April with the eagerly-awaited confrontation at the RDS Arena between two European heavyweights, Leinster Rugby and RC Toulon, which will have England’s Matthew Carley in the middle, while Andrew Brace of Ireland has been appointed for the Gloucester Rugby v La Rochelle tie on the same evening.
The knockout stage of the Challenge Cup also starts on Friday, 2 April with France’s Pierre Brousset taking charge of Zebre Rugby Club v Bath Rugby at Parma’s Stadio Lanfranchi. Georgia’s leading match official, Nika Amashukeli, will referee the meeting of London Irish and Cardiff Blues at Brentford Community Stadium while Karl Dickson of England has been appointed for the clash of 2016 winners, Montpellier, and Glasgow Warriors at the GGL Stadium later that evening.
Two of the more high-profile matches in the Round of 16 between Leicester Tigers and Connacht Rugby, and Harlequins and Ulster Rugby, will be refereed by Pascal Gauzère and Romain Poite of France.