"This will be my eighth season refereeing in the Heineken Cup," said 44-year-old McHugh."And having seen the tournament grow from day one, the growth has been phenomenal and I am as enthusiastic now as I was then about any Heineken Cup appointment.""I have never refereed Neath, either home or away, and I am very much looking forward going to The Gnoll. Like any match in the tournament, it will be a huge challenge."
McHugh will become Ireland's most celebrated referee when he makes his 24th Test appearance in the Autumn international match between France and Canada, eclipsing previous Irish record holder Kevin Kelleher's 23-international mark.
Meanwhile top French referee Joel Dume will have charge of Gloucester's clash with Munster in front of the BBC Grandstand cameras at Kingsholm with Nigel Whitehouse of Wales controlling London Irish's visit to Toulouse, which will be being televised by France Television.
Heineken Cup. ROUND 1, 11th/12th/13th October. Amatori & Calvisano v Beziers, Steve Lander (E).Neath v Leicester Tigers, David McHugh (I). Gloucester v Munster, Joel Dume (F). Perpignan v Viadana, Andrew Ireland (S). Llanelli v Glasgow Rugby, Giulio De Santis (It).Sale Sharks v Bourgoin, Nigel Williams (W). Montferrand v Swansea, Donal Courtney (I). Leinster Lions v Bristol Shoguns, Rob Dickson (S).
ROUND 2, 18th/19th/20th October Leicester Tigers v Amatori & Calvisano, Nigel Owens (W). Beziers v Bath, Marco Salera (It). Viadana v Gloucester, Simon McDowell (I). Munsterv Perpignan, Tony Spreadbury (E). Glasgow Rugby v Sale Sharks, Didier Mene (F). Bourgoin v Llanelli, Iain Ramage (S). Bristol Shoguns v Montferrand, Nigel Whitehouse (W). Swansea v Leinster Lions, Joel Jutge (F). London Irish v Edinburgh Rugby, Antonio Lombardi (It). Newport v Toulouse, Steve Lander (E). Ulster v Cardiff, Rob Dickson (S). Biarritz Olympique v Northampton Saints, Alain Rolland (I).