The referees for Rounds 3 and 4 of the Heineken Cup and the Amlin Challenge Cup were announced 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.
The Heineken Cup returns on Friday, 6 December with the start of the vital back-to-back matches. George Clancy of Ireland will be in the middle for the Pool 2 contest between Cardiff Blues and Glasgow Warriors at the Cardiff Arms Park while Clancy's countryman, Peter Fitzgibbon, will take charge of the meeting of Castres Olympique and the Ospreys in Pool 1.
Reigning champions Toulon's much-anticipated visit to Exeter Chiefs on Saturday, 7 December will be refereed by Alain Rolland, with Leighton Hodges of Wales appointed for the Racing Metro 92 v Harlequins game at Stade de la Beaujoire in Nantes. England's Greg Garner will be on hand for Munster Rugby's home Pool 6 game against Perpignan the following day.
Sunday, 8 December also sees Italy's Marius Mitrea on duty for the Pool 3 encounter between unbeaten Toulouse and Connacht Rugby at Stade Ernest Wallon, while John Lacey of Ireland will referee Leicester Tigers v Montpellier at Welford Road in a key Pool 5 contest.
In the Amlin Challenge Cup, England's Matt Carley, who has officiated in the Aviva Premiership, will make his European refereeing debut when he takes charge of the Round 3 game between I Cavalieri Prato and Lusitanos XV, with another European debut accorded to Alexandre Ruiz of France when he referees the return fixture in Round 4.
The appointed referees will adhere to the current global law trials for the scrum engagement sequence and for the extended powers of the Television Match Official (TMO) TMOs will be in operation at all Heineken Cup matches, and at all Amlin Challenge Cup matches, during Rounds 3 and 4.
Click here for the referee appointments for Rounds 3 and 4 of the Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup.
Scrum engagement sequence
• Engagement sequence of 'Crouch-Bind-Set'
• Front rows should be in an 'ear-to-ear' position on the 'Crouch' command
• Referees will look for stability after the 'Set' command before saying: 'Yes 9', to prompt the scrum half to put the ball in
• Referees have been asked to be strict on non-straight scrum feeds
Extended Television Match Official (TMO) powers
• TMO can be consulted to review up to two phases (rucks or mauls) before a ball is grounded for a try
• TMO can be consulted for incidents of possible foul play anywhere in the playing enclosure
• TMO can notify the referee of possible foul play at the next break in play after the possible foul play has occurred
• If there is a big screen in the ground, the referee can make a decision without requesting a recommendation from the TMO