George Clancy will get the 17th Heineken Cup tournament up and running when he takes charge of the match between Racing Metro 92 and the Cardiff Blues at Stade Yves du Manoir on Friday, November 11.
It will be George Clancy’s 31st Heineken Cup match and comes on the back of the IRFU international referee taking charge of last month’s Rugby World Cup opener between New Zealand and Tonga.
French official Jerome Garces will be on duty at the other opening night contest when Harlequins meet Heineken Cup debutants Connacht at the Twickenham Stoop.
ERC, the tournament organisers, have announced the match officials for rounds 1 and 2 with four Irish referees receiving refereeing appointments – Clancy, Peter Fitzgibbon, Alain Rolland and John Lacey.
Wayne Barnes, who was in charge of the recent bronze final at the World Cup, will be at Ravenhill for Ulster’s contest against ASM Clermont Auvergne.
Barnes’ English colleague Dave Pearson will referee reigning champions Leinster’s match at Heineken Cup newcomers Montpellier.
Meanwhile, the Scarlets, who will become the fifth club to play 100 Heineken Cup games when they meet Castres Olympique at Parc y Scarlets, will have another English official, Greg Garner, in charge of their landmark fixture.
2011/12 HEINEKEN CUP FIXTURES:
All kick-offs local time –
Friday, November 11
Pool 2: Racing Metro 92 v Cardiff Blues, 9pm, George Clancy (Ireland)
Pool 6: Harlequins v Connacht, 8pm, Jerome Garces (France)
Saturday, November 12
Pool 1: Scarlets v Castres Olympique, 3pm, Greg Garner (England)
Pool 1: Munster v Northampton Saints, 6pm, Nigel Owens (Wales)
Pool 2: London Irish v Edinburgh, 1.30pm, Romain Poite (France)
Pool 3: Montpellier v Leinster, 2.30pm, Dave Pearson (England)
Pool 4: Aironi Rugby v Leicester Tigers, 2.30pm Neil Paterson (Scotland)
Pool 4: Ulster v Clermont Auvergne, 3.40pm, Wayne Barnes (England)
Pool 5: Ospreys v Biarritz Olympique, 3.40pm, Andrew Small (England)
Sunday, November 13
Pool 3: Glasgow Warriors v Bath Rugby, 12.45pm, Christophe Berdos (France)
Pool 5: Saracens v Benetton Treviso, 3pm, John Lacey (Ireland)
Pool 6: Toulouse v Gloucester, 4pm, Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)
Friday, November 18
Pool 1: Northampton Saints v Scarlets, 8pm, Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)
Pool 2: Cardiff Blues v London Irish, 8pm, Jerome Garces (France)
Pool 2: Edinburgh v Racing Metro 92, 8pm, John Lacey (Ireland)
Pool 4: Clermont Auvergne v Aironi Rugby, 9pm, JP Doyle (England)
Saturday, November 19
Pool 1: Castres Olympique v Munster, 4.40pm, Wayne Barnes (England)
Pool 4: Leicester Tigers v Ulster, 6pm, Romain Poite (France)
Pool 5: Biarritz Olympique v Saracens, 2.30pm, George Clancy (Ireland)
Pool 5: Benetton Treviso v Ospreys, 2.30pm, Pascal Gauzere (France)
Pool 6: Gloucester v Harlequins, 3.40pm, Christophe Berdos (France)
Pool 6: Connacht v Toulouse, 6pm, Greg Garner (England)
Sunday, November 20
Pool 3: Leinster v Glasgow Warriors, 12.45pm, Andrew Small (England)
Pool 3: Bath v Montpellier, 3pm, Alain Rolland (Ireland)