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Referee appointments: Dean Richards takes charge of 91st Aviva Premiership Rugby clash

Referee Dean Richards will move ever closer to a century of Aviva Premiership Rugby matches this weekend, as he takes charge of Harlequins against Leicester Tigers on Friday evening.

Under the Friday night lights and live on BT Sport, the clash between two of the league’s former champions will require experience and a cool head – and with 90 Aviva Premiership Rugby matches under his belt already, Richards has that in spades.

Two more of the league’s most seasoned officials will also be on the whistle this week, with Tim Wigglesworth the man in the middle for Sale Sharks’ trip to Saracens before Greg Garner marshals what is sure to be a fierce West Country derby between Bristol Rugby and Bath Rugby on Sunday.

It is the pair’s 110th and 111th Aviva Premiership Rugby refereeing appearance respectively.

At the other end of the spectrum, Andrew Jackson will build on his impressive start to life as an Aviva Premiership Rugby referee when he casts an eye over proceedings at the Ricoh Arena for Wasps v Gloucester Rugby – his fourth game at the helm.

And while Craig Maxwell-Keys will be in Northampton where the Saints host Worcester Warriors, Ian Tempest travels to the south west for Newcastle Falcons’ trip to Exeter Chiefs.

As ever, all six Aviva Premiership Rugby matches this week will employ a TMO, with Graham Hughes, David Rose, Trevor Fisher, Keith Lewis, Geoff Warren and David Grashoff all in the hotseat.

Harlequins v Leicester Tigers

Referee: Dean Richards (91st Premiership game).

Assistant Referees: Paul Dix, Nigel Carrick. TMO: Graham Hughes.

Saracens v Sale Sharks

Referee: Tim Wigglesworth (110th Premiership game).

Assistant Referees: Simon McConnell, Roy Maybank. TMO: David Rose.

Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors

Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys (30th Premiership game).

Assistant Referees: Greg MacDonald, Roger Baileff. TMO: Trevor Fisher

Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons

Referee: Ian Tempest (29th Premiership game).

Assistant Referees: Jack Makepeace, Anthony Woodthorpe. TMO: Keith Lewis.

Wasps v Gloucester Rugby

Referee: Andrew Jackson (4th Premiership game).

Assistant Referees: Wayne Falla, Peter Allan. TMO: Geoff Warren.

Bristol Rugby v Bath Rugby

Referee: Greg Garner (111th Premiership game).

Assistant Referees: Adam Leal, Steve Lee. TMO: David Grashoff.

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