EPCR, the organiser of the European Rugby Champions Cup, Challenge Cup and Challenge Cup Qualifying tournaments, has today announced the appointment of Joel Jutge as Head of Match Officials.
Widely-respected as a player, referee and administrator, Jutge joins EPCR from World Rugby where he held the post of High Performance Match Official Manager and recently presided over a successful match officials programme at the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
He was previously Elite Referee Manager at the Federation Francaise de Rugby (FFR) from 2007 to 2012.
As one of the world's leading referees, he took charge of 24 test matches and officiated at the 2003 and 2007 Rugby World Cups. At European club level, he refereed a total of 46 games including the 2002 European Cup final between Leicester Tigers and Munster Rugby. He also refereed the 2004 TOP 14 final and the 2005 Celtic League final.
He started refereeing in 1991 after his playing career with Colomiers and Cahors ended.
Vincent Gaillard, EPCR Director General, said: "We are delighted to have secured the services of someone with Joel's expertise and experience in the key area of match officials. He has already earned a reputation as a top administrator with World Rugby and the FFR and he has a deep understanding of the game at the elite level. He is certain to play a major part in the ongoing development of our tournaments.”
Joel Jutge, who takes up his new post on 1 July, said: "I am really pleased to be joining the team at EPCR at such an exciting time and to have the opportunity of building on the strengths and traditions of the professional club game in Europe. I'm looking forward to working with the clubs, leagues, national federations and Referee Managers to deliver the best possible match officials programme.”