George Clancy (Ireland) will referee his first Heineken Cup semi-final when Northampton Saints meet Perpignan at stadium:mk in Milton Keynes on Sunday, 1 May in the closing match of European club rugby's semi-finals weekend.
ERC, the tournament organisers, today (Friday, 15 April) announced the referee appointments for the high profile last four matches.
Clancy will be refereeing his 30th Heineken Cup match and later this year the 34-year-old from Limerick will have the honour of blowing the whistle for the start of the 2011 Rugby World Cup when he takes charge of the opening fixture between hosts New Zealand and Tonga at Eden Park on 9 September.
Dave Pearson (England) will referee his second Heineken Cup semi-final match when Leinster clash with defending champions Toulouse at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday, 30 April.
The 44-year-old Morpeth-born Pearson is also one of the 10 elite officials named to referee at the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
HEINEKEN CUP 2011 SEMI-FINALS (Kick-Offs LOCAL Time)
SATURDAY, 30 APRIL, 2011 15.30 Leinster v Toulouse - Aviva Stadium, Dublin - Dave Pearson (E)
Sky Sports / FR2 / Canal+Sport
SUNDAY, 1 May, 2011 15.00 Northampton Saints v Perpignan - stadium:mk, Milton Keynes - George Clancy (I)
Sky Sports / FR2
THE 16th HEINEKEN CUP FINAL - SATURDAY, 21 MAY, 2011 - MILLENNIUM STADIUM, CARDIFF (17.00)
As part of the build-up to next month's Cardiff 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals weekend, ERC has joined forces with the WRU, Cardiff Blues and adidas to develop an annual grassroots community rugby programme targeting young players.
The Ulster Rugby full back, Jared Payne (No 15), has been suspended for two (2) weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing in Dublin arising from the Heineken Cup quarter-final match against Saracens at Ravenhill Stadium on Saturday, 5 April.