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Welshman Owens To Referee Heineken Cup Final

Welshman Owens To Referee Heineken Cup Final

Nigel Owens’ appointment as the Heineken Cup final referee could be a good omen for Munster as the Welshman was the man in the middle for the province’s quarter-final victory over Gloucester and also their semi-final win over Saracens.

Owens will referee his first Heineken Cup final when takes charge of the mouth-watering meeting of Munster and Toulouse at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday, May 24 (kick-off 5pm).

The leading Welsh official refereed his first semi-final when he whistled Munster’s win over Saracens at the Ricoh Arena last month and the final will mean he has not missed a single tournament weekend, controlling a maximum nine Heineken Cup matches this season.

And the added bonus for Owens is that he will be in charge of the match on home soil – referees are rarely able to officiate at major matches played at their own national ground.

The final will be 36-year-old Owens’ 32nd Heineken Cup match and his 39th European fixture overall, including last season’s European Challenge Cup final between Clermont Auvergne and Bath at the Twickenham Stoop.

He will be the third Welsh referee to take charge of a Heineken Cup final, following in the footsteps of Derek Bevan (1997) and Clayton Thomas (1999), and the 11th referee to take charge of European club rugby’s showpiece match.

Owens made his European bow when he refereed the 2001 match between London Irish and Piacenza.

2007/08 HEINEKEN CUP FINAL: Saturday, May 24

MUNSTER v TOULOUSE, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, 5pm

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Touch Judges: Nigel Whitehouse, Hugh Watkins (both Wales)
Fourth Official/Reserve Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Television Match Official: Derek Bevan (Wales)