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The men in the middle for European action this weekend

Experienced French referee Romain Poite will be in charge when Aviva Premiership Rugby champions Saracens take on Munster at the Aviva Stadium in the semi-finals of the Champions Cup on Saturday.

Poite will be assisted by his countrymen Pascal Gauzere and Alexandre Ruiz as Sarries look to reach the final at Murrayfield in an attempt to retain their European crown.

They go into the match third in the Aviva Premiership after producing a storming late comeback to defeat Northampton Saints 27-25 at stadiummk on Sunday, having been 25-12 behind with 11 minutes to go.

Mark McCall’s men reached the last four of the Champions Cup by defeating Glasgow Warriors 38-13 at Allianz Park, with Chris Ashton equalling the competition’s record for tries scored.

There is also Aviva Premiership Rugby representation in both of the semi-finals of the Challenge Cup, which will see West County rivals Gloucester Rugby and Bath Rugby cross the Channel.

Gloucester will need to upset the odds if they are to overcome La Rochelle in their own back yard, with their opponents 14 points clear at the summit of the French Top 14 and unquestionably one of the stories of the season.

There will be an all-Irish team of officials at the Stade Marcel-Deflandre, with Andrew Brace taking up the whistle and George Clancy and David Wilkinson both running the line.

The Cherry & Whites kept their hopes of competing in next season’s Champions Cup alive by defeating Sale Sharks 39-30 at Kingsholm, while they got this far by running out 46-26 winners over the Cardiff Blues in the quarter-finals.

There will also be an Irish referee in Bath’s clash with Stade Francais on Sunday, as John Lacey will be assisted by compatriot Sean Gallagher and Marius Mitrea of Italy.

Bath’s hopes of finishing inside the Aviva Premiership’s top-four took a blow last Saturday, as they lost 25-19 against Worcester Warriors at Sixways to leave them four points adrift of fourth-placed Leicester Tigers.

They will, however, be looking for a repeat of their last-eight performance against Brive, which earned a 34-20 victory at The Rec.

European Rugby Champions Cup

Munster v Saracens

Referee: Romain Poite (France)

Assistant Referees: Pascal Gauzere (France), Alexandre Ruiz (France). TMO: Philippe Bonhoure (France)

Clermont Auvergne v Leinster

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)

Assistant referees: Wayne Barnes (England), Ian Davies (Wales). TMO: Jonathan Mason (Wales)

European Rugby Challenge Cup

La Rochelle v Gloucester Rugby

Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland)

Assistant referees: George Clancy (Ireland), David Wilkinson (Ireland). TMO: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)

Stade Francais v Bath Rugby

Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)

Assistant referees: Marius Mitrea (Italy), Sean Gallagher (Ireland). TMO: Simon McDowell (Ireland)

Tickets to the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final is on 27 May at Twickenham are now on sale. If you want to have an unforgettable day out at club rugby’s best Cup Final then click here for tickets.

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