Referees ready for European action
A host of experienced referees will oversee this weekend’s Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup action as all 12 Gallagher Premiership Rugby clubs aim to make their mark against Europe’s elite.
On Sunday, league-leaders Saracens are set to showdown with Cardiff Blues as the Men in Black go in search of a clean sweep of European victories.
Officiating at Allianz Park will be seasoned French referee Romain Poite, who will be flanked by his able assistants Cyril Lafon and Stephane Boyer, while Denis Grenouillet mans the TMO.
Meanwhile, Newcastle Falcons take on Edinburgh under the Friday night lights at BT Murrayfield as the Gallagher Premiership Rugby side aim to continue their perfect start to the competition.
Italian Marius Mitrea is the man in the middle for this encounter, while Andrea Piardi and Matteo Liperini will operate as assistants. Stefano Penne will be the matchday TMO.
Elsewhere, Saturday’s all Gallagher Premiership Rugby showdown between Exeter Chiefs and Gloucester Rugby will have Pascal Gauzere refereeing the hugely anticipated contest.
Another Frenchman, Mathieu Raynal, will be in charge of Bath Rugby’s Saturday clash with reigning Champions Leinster, while John Lacey is the man in the middle for Wasps battle with Toulouse.
Lastly, Nigel Owens will oversee 2017-18 beaten finalists Racing 92’s clash with Leicester Tigers.
In the Challenge Cup, Franck Murphy will officiate Worcester Warriors’ trip to Pau, while Northampton Saints’ match against Dragons will have Thomas Charabas in charge.
Welshman Ben Whitehouse is the referee for Bristol Bears versus La Rochelle as Dan Jones officiates the contest between Benetton Rugby and Harlequins. And Ian Davies is the referee in Sale Sharks’ match with Bordeaux-Begles.
HEINEKEN CHAMPIONS CUP
Friday 7 December
Edinburgh Rugby v Newcastle Falcons (BT Murrayfield, 7.45pm). Live on BT Sport 2 and 4K UHD
Referee: Marius Mitrea
Assistant Referees: Andrea Piardi and Matteo Liperini
TMO: Stefano Penne
Saturday 8 December
Exeter Chiefs v Gloucester Rugby (Sandy Park, 1pm). Live on BT Sport 2
Referee: Pascal Gauzère
Assistant Referees: Maxime Chalon and Jean-Luc Rebollal
TMO: Eric Gauzins
Bath Rugby v Leinster Rugby (Recreation Ground, 3pm). Live on BT Sport 2
Referee: Mathieu Raynal
Assistant Referees: Pierre Brousset and Vincent Blasco Baqué
TMO: Philippe Bonhoure
Wasps v Toulouse (Ricoh Arena, 5.30pm). Live on BT Sport 2
Referee: John Lacey
Assistant Referees: Nigel Correll and Barrie O’Connell
TMO: Olly Hodges
Sunday 9 December
Saracens v Cardiff Blues (Allianz Park, 12.30pm). Live on BT Sport and 4K UHD
Referee: Romain Poite
Assistant Referees: Cyril Lafon and Stephane Boyer
TMO: Denis Grenouillet
Racing 92 v Leicester Tigers (Paris La Defense Arena, 3.15pm). Live on BT Sport 2
Referee: Nigel Owens
Assistant Referees: Adam Jones and Wayne Davies
TMO: Simon McDowell
Friday 7 December
Pau v Worcester Warriors (Stade du Hameau, 7pm)
Referee: Frank Murphy
Assistant Referees: Rob O’Sullivan and Ken Imbusch
Saturday 8 December 8
Benetton Rugby v Harlequins (Stadio Communale di Monigo, 2pm)
Referee: Dan Jones
Assistant Referees: Elgan Williams and Rhys Jones
Northampton Saints v Dragons (Franklin’s Gardens, 3pm)
Referee: Thomas Charabas
Assistant Referees: Tual Trainini and Arnaud Blondel
Bristol Bears v La Rochelle (Ashton Gate, 3pm)
Referee: Ben Whitehouse
Assistant Referees: Gwyn Morris and Aled Evans
Bordeaux-Begles v Sale Sharks (Stade Chaban-Delmas, 8pm)
Referee: Ian Davies
Assistant Referees: Dewi Phillips and Aled Liddington
TMO: Sean Brickell