As the penultimate stage of the Heineken Cup approaches, France’s Romain Poite will take charge of the first of the semi-finals when Ulster clash with Edinburgh in what promises to be an historic occasion at the Aviva Stadium.
With Edinburgh making their first ever semi-final appearance and 1999 champions Ulster bridging a 13-year gap since they last reached the last-four, the Dublin contest on Saturday, April 28 looks set to attract another massive attendance as 35,000 tickets have already been snapped up by supporters.
The Heineken Cup referee and assistant referee appointments were made by the ERC Match Officials Sub Committee taking into consideration a comprehensive ongoing review of performances across all relevant tournaments in conjunction with the referee managers in each Union.
Throughout the competition, ERC also provides an opportunity for coaches to share their feedback on the performance of match officials and that feedback is considered in the review process.
French official Romain Poite, who refereed the 2011 final, has been on duty during all seven Heineken Cup weekends to date this season and will be taking of his charge of his 50th ERC match at the Aviva Stadium.
Meanwhile, Wayne Barnes from Rngland will referee the second semi-final at the 34,000-capacity Stade Chaban-Delmas when Clermont Auvergne, who have also reached the semi-final stage for the first time, go head-to-head with reigning champions Leinster.
The much-anticipated Bordeaux tie on Sunday, April 29, which has already generated ticket sales of 22,000, looks set to be a sell-out as Clermont attempt to derail Leinster’s ambition of winning an unprecedented three titles in four seasons.
HEINEKEN CUP SEMI-FINALS:
Saturday, April 28 –
ULSTER v Edinburgh, Aviva Stadium, 5.45pm
Referee: Romain Poite (France); Assistant Referees: Jerome Garces, Pascal Gauzere (both France)
Sunday, April 29 –
Clermont Auvergne v LEINSTER, Stade Chaban-Delmas, Bordeaux, 4pm local time/3pm Irish time
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England); Assistant Referees: Nigel Owens (Wales), Dave Pearson (England)