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Busy December For Irish Referees In Europe

Busy December For Irish Referees In Europe

The referees for rounds 3 and 4 of the Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup have been been announced, with Ireland’s Alain Rolland, George Clancy, Peter Fitzgibbon, John Lacey, Dudley Phillips and Leo Colgan all set to take charge of matches.

Nigel Owens from Wales will referee the clash of Northampton Saints and Leinster in a re-run of the memorable 2011 Heineken Cup final – the two former winners meet at Franklin’s Gardens in round 3 of the Heineken Cup.

With France’s Jerome Garces appointed to referee the return game in round 4 at the Aviva Stadium, the two Pool 1 fixtures look set to generate a combined attendance of over 60,000 spectators.

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The refereeing appointments were confirmed following a meeting of the ERC Match Officials sub-committee. The meeting reviewed match official performances across all relevant tournaments in conjunction with feedback from the referee managers in each Union and from club coaching staff.

The Heineken Cup resumes on Friday, December 6 with the start of the vital back-to-back matches.

IRFU international referee George Clancy will be in the middle for the Pool 2 contest between Cardiff Blues and Glasgow Warriors at Cardiff Arms Park, while fellow Limerick man, Peter Fitzgibbon, will take charge of the meeting of Castres Olympique and the Ospreys in Pool 1.

Reigning champions Toulon’s much-anticipated visit to Exeter Chiefs on Saturday, December 7 will be refereed by Dubliner Alain Rolland, who is the tournament’s most experienced referee alongside Owens (77 matches each).

Leighton Hodges of Wales has been appointed for the Racing Metro 92 v Harlequins game at Stade de la Beaujoire in Nantes, while England’s Greg Garner will be on hand for Munster’s home Pool 6 tie against Perpignan the following day.

Sunday, December 8 also sees Italy’s Marius Mitrea on duty for the Pool 3 encounter between unbeaten Toulouse and Connacht at Stade Ernest Wallon, while Tipperary native John Lacey will referee Leicester Tigers v Montpellier at Welford Road in a key Pool 5 contest.

In the Amlin Challenge Cup, England’s Matt Carley, who has officiated in the Aviva Premiership, will make his European refereeing debut when he takes charge of the round 3 game between I Cavalieri Prato and Lusitanos XV, with another European debut accorded to Alexandre Ruiz of France when he referees the return fixture in Round 4.

The appointed referees will adhere to the current global law trials for the scrum engagement sequence and for the extended powers of the television match official (TMO). TMOs will be in operation at all Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup matches during rounds 3 and 4.

Click here for the referee appointments for rounds 3 and 4 of the Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup.


Alain Rolland (Exeter Chiefs v Toulon, Saturday, December 7; Harlequins v Racing Metro 92, Sunday, December 15)

George Clancy (Cardiff Blues v Glasgow Warriors, Friday, December 6)

Peter Fitzgibbon (Castres Olympique v Ospreys, Friday, December 6)

John Lacey (Leicester Tigers v Montpellier, Sunday, December 8; Toulon v Exeter Chiefs, Saturday, December 14)

Dudley Phillips (Worcester Warriors v Biarritz Olympique, Thursday, December 5; Saracens v Zebre, Saturday, December 14)

Leo Colgan (Bath v Rugby Mogliano, Saturday, December 14)

Notes –

Scrum Engagement Sequence

• Engagement sequence of ‘Crouch, Bind, Set’
• Front rows should be in an ‘ear-to-ear’ position on the ‘Crouch’ command
• Referees will look for stability after the ‘Set’ command before saying: ‘Yes 9’, to prompt the scrum half to put the ball in
• Referees have been asked to be strict on non-straight scrum feeds

Extended Television Match Official Powers

• TMO can be consulted to review up to two phases (rucks or mauls) before a ball is grounded for a try
• TMO can be consulted for incidents of possible foul play anywhere in the playing enclosure
• TMO can notify the referee of possible foul play at the next break in play after the possible foul play has occurred
• If there is a big screen in the ground, the referee can make a decision without requesting a recommendation from the TMO