IRFU High Performance referee Andrew Brace has been appointed as the match referee for the inaugural United Rugby Championship grand final between the DHL Stormers and the Vodacom Bulls in Cape Town.
It is the second time Brace has been handed the responsibility for the league decider having held the whistle for the Guinness PRO14 Final between Leinster and Ulster at the Aviva Stadium in September 2020.
Brace, who turns 34 ahead of Saturday’s game between the South African sides, made his league debut in September 2015 when he took charge of a clash between Cardiff Blues and Zebre.
Since then he has gone to referee knock-out matches in the PRO14, EPCR Challenge Cup and the Heineken Champions Cup. This will be his 80th time to referee a league fixture at this level.
In 2018, the Limerick-based referee took charge of his first tier 1 fixture (Argentina v Wales). He was then appointed as an assistant referee for the 2019 Rugby World Cup and, shortly afterwards, made his Six Nations debut in 2020 (France v Italy).
In addition to the URC grand final, Brace will also take charge of one of England’s three Test matches in Australia next month. For the Stormers-Bulls clash, he will be assisted by South Africa’s Jaco Peyper and AJ Jacobs.
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UNITED RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP GRAND FINAL:
DHL Stormers v Vodacom Bulls, DHL Stadium, Cape Town, kick-off 7.30pm local time/6.30pm Irish time (live on RTÉ/Premier Sports/URC TV/SuperSport)
Referee: Andrew Brace (IRFU)
Assistant Referee 1: Jaco Peyper (SARU); Assistant Referee 2: AJ Jacobs (SARU)
Television Match Official: Marius van der Westhuizen (SARU)