Heineken and Amlin cup final referee appointments made

News from the ERC. Many congrats to Nigel Owens and Alain Rolland as well as their teams.

Two of the world’s most experienced referees will take charge of next weekend’s Dublin 2013 European club rugby finals and the appointments of Alain Rolland to the Heineken Cup final and of Nigel Owens to the Amlin Challenge Cup final also mark a milestone as Ref Cam will be in use for the first time in a major rugby final.

Both officials for the high-profile clashes of ASM Clermont Auvergne and Toulon and of Leinster Rugby and Stade Francais Paris at the Aviva Stadium and the RDS Arena respectively, will be fitted with the Ref Cam device by host broadcasters, Sky Sports, which will enable viewers to experience innovative close-quarter footage from the referee’s perspective.

Rolland of Ireland will be refereeing his second Heineken Cup final – having taken charge of the 2004 decider between London Wasps and Toulouse – and his 72nd tournament match which eclipses his compatriot Alan Lewis’ old mark of 71.

Rolland has refereed seven European fixtures this season including last month’s Heineken Cup semi-final between Saracens and Toulon. His assistant referees for the 2013 final on Saturday, 18 May will be Wayne Barnes (England) and George Clancy (Ireland).

Owens, meanwhile, will be refereeing a fifth European final in the space of seven seasons when he takes charge of the Amlin Challenge Cup decider on Friday, 17 May. The Welshman was previously appointed to the 2007 Amlin Challenge Cup final between ASM Clermont Auvergne and Bath Rugby, and he was also in control of the 2008, 2009 and 2012 Heineken Cup finals.

His assistant referees at the RDS Arena will be Leighton Hodges and Ian Davies, both of Wales.

The Dublin 2013 finals match official appointments were announced today (Tuesday, 7 May) 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.

Dublin 2013 finals
(Kick-offs local time)

Friday, 17 May – Amlin Challenge Cup final

Leinster Rugby v Stade Francais Paris, RDS Arena (20.00)
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wal); Assistant referees: Leighton Hodges (Wal), Ian Davies (Wal); TMO: Gareth Simmonds (Wal); Citing Commissioner: Maurizio Vancini (Ita)

Saturday, 18 May – Heineken Cup final

ASM Clermont Auvergne v Toulon, Aviva Stadium (17.00)
Referee: Alain Rolland (Ire); Assistant referees: Wayne Barnes (Eng), George Clancy (Ire); TMO: Marshall Kilgore (Ire); Citing Commissioner: Murray Whyte (Ire)