The appointments for this weekend’s GUINNESS PRO14 final series games have been confirmed, with match officials from three different countries all assigned to some of the biggest games of the season.
IRFU international referee John Lacey will hold the whistle for Glasgow Warriors’ much-anticipated GUINNESS PRO14 semi-final clash with defending champions, the Scarlets, on Friday night. It will be Lacey’s 70th Championship appearance in addition to his wealth of international and European experience.
The Tipperary man will be assisted at Scotstoun Stadium by his IRFU colleagues Andrew Brace and Frank Murphy, while Olly Hodges will serve as the television match official for the last-four fixture.
On Saturday afternoon, the SARU’s Stuart Berry will create a small piece of history as he becomes the first South African official to referee a knockout game in the PRO14 after his appointment to the Leinster v Munster semi-final.
Berry has the experience of over 30 Super Rugby games before joining the Championship this season, and he has quickly established himself among the top group of referees. Berry will be assisted by WRU referees Ben Whitehouse and Craig Evans, with Neil Paterson (SRU) on TMO duty.
In the Champions Cup qualification play-off in Belfast on Sunday, Marius Mitrea (FIR) makes his 78th Championship appearance when Ulster face the Ospreys. Mitrea is assisted by Mike Adamson (SRU), Gianluca Gnecchi (FIR), and Scotland’s Andrew McMenemy who has been appointed as TMO.
Speaking about this weekend’s appointments, Greg Garner, Elite Referee Manager with PRO14 Rugby, said: “The teams who have earned the right to play in these games have put in a lot of hard work this season and so have all of our officials. Match appointments are competitive in nature as we want to bring out the best in our referees ahead of most important games of the season.
“I would like to congratulate John Lacey and Marius Mitrea on their selections and also acknowledge Stuart Berry’s achievement in refereeing a final series game in his first season with the GUINNESS PRO14. The South African expansion has been a success, not just with the teams involved but with the addition of match officials such as Stuart to our ranks.”
Commenting on Berry’s appointment, Banks Yantolo, SA Rugby’s Referee Manager, remarked: “Stuart has been a very loyal servant to SA Rugby and has been refereeing for more than 15 years. This appointment, in his first year of officiating in the PRO14, is something all of us at SA Rugby are extremely proud of and we would like to wish him well for what promises to be an uncompromising semi-final and Irish derby.”
GUINNESS PRO14 SEMI-FINALS:
Friday, May 18 –
GLASGOW WARRIORS v SCARLETS, Scotstoun Stadium, 7.45pm (live Sky Sports Action/BBC ALBA/BBC Wales)
Referee: John Lacey (IRFU)
AR1: Andrew Brace (IRFU)
AR2: Frank Murphy (IRFU)
TMO: Olly Hodges (IRFU)
Saturday, May 19 –
LEINSTER v MUNSTER, the RDS, 3.15pm (live TG4/Sky Sports Action)
Referee: Stuart Berry (SARU)
AR1: Ben Whitehouse (WRU)
AR2: Craig Evans (WRU)
TMO: Neil Paterson (SRU)
GUINNESS PRO14/CHAMPIONS CUP QUALIFICATION PLAY-OFF:
Sunday, May 20 –
ULSTER v OSPREYS, Kingspan Stadium, 3.05pm (live BBC 2 Northern Ireland/S4C)
Referee: Marius Mitrea (FIR)
AR1: Mike Adamson (SRU)
AR2: Gianluca Gnecchi (FIR)
TMO: Andrew McMenemy (SRU)
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