Munster referee George Clancy has been handed the honour of refereeing the first match at the 2007 Barclays Churchill Cup tournament – Friday night’s clash between England Saxons and the USA in Stockport.
Clancy, who hails from the Bruff club in Limerick, was recently voted Munster Rugby Referee of the Year and will hope to continue his good progress with a strong showing at the Churchill Cup tournament.
He is one of six referees to be appointed for duty at the Churchill Cup. As part of the alliance nature of the tournament, each participating nation had provided one referee and the tournament aims to develop referees as well as players and coaches.
Two of the referees – Andrew Small of England and Canada’s Phil Smith – have both been involved in previous tournaments. It will be the first time that Clancy, Chris Pollock (New Zealand), Andrew MacPherson (Scotland) and Graham Bullen (USA) will be involved in the competition.
England official Small has been chosen to referee the Ireland ‘A’ v Canada match, which is being held at Exeter’s Sandy Park stadium, on Saturday (kick-off 8pm). IrishRugby.ie will be running a live match tracker for this game, which is also being broadcast live on Sky Sports Extra.
The tournament, which is supported by the International Rugby Board, is being held across England over the next couple of weeks and will culminate with a Finals Day at Twickenham on Saturday, June 2, where all six teams will compete.