The Heineken Cup referee and assistant referee appointments were made by the ERC Match Officials Sub Committee taking into consideration a comprehensive ongoing review of performances across all relevant tournaments in conjunction with the referee managers in each Union. ERC also provides an opportunity for coaches to share their feedback on the performance of match officials which is considered in the review process.
As the tournament moves up a gear for the knockout stages, the assistant referees for the four quarter-finals were also selected on the basis of their experience, whereas in the pool stages, assistant referees were chosen from the same country as the referee.
It will be just as intense later on Saturday, 7 April at the Aviva Stadium where England's Dave Pearson will referee the first knockout stage confrontation between reigning Heineken Cup champions, Leinster Rugby, and Cardiff Blues since 1996. With in excess of 45,000 passionate home supporters ready to cheer on the holders at a venue where they remain undefeated, Cardiff will be looking to upset the party and reach the semi-finals for the first time since 2009.
France's Romain Poite, who refereed last season's classic Heineken Cup final, will be in charge of the all-Irish clash between Munster Rugby and Ulster at a sold-out Thomond Park on Sunday, 8 April. The first tournament meeting of the two clubs is likely to another memorable contest at the highly-charged Limerick venue.
Alain Rolland of Ireland will be on hand for the last of the quarter-finals when current English champions Saracens clash with 2010 French champions, ASM Clermont Auvergne at Vicarage Road. With Clermont head coach, Vern Cotter, aiming for a Heineken Cup and Top 14 double in the club's centenary year, the game will round off a knockout series which is certain to be packed with quality and drama.
HEINEKEN CUP QUARTER-FINALS
(Kick-offs local time)
SATURDAY, 7 APRIL
15.00 Edinburgh Rugby v Toulouse - Murrayfield
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wal); Assistant referee 1: Andrew Small (Eng), Assistant referee 2: Stuart Terheege (Eng)
17.45 Leinster Rugby v Cardiff Blues - Aviva Stadium
Referee: Dave Pearson (Eng); Assistant referee 1: Pascal Gauzere (Fra), Assistant referee 2: David Changleng (Sco)
SUNDAY, 8 APRIL
13.45 Munster Rugby v Ulster Rugby - Thomond Park
Referee: Romain Poite (Fra); Assistant referee 1: Jerome Garces (Fra), Assistant referee 2: Matthieu Raynal (Fra)
16.30 Saracens v ASM Clermont Auvergne - Vicarage Road
Referee: Alain Rolland (Ire); Assistant referee 1: Neil Paterson (Sco), Assistant referee 2: Simon McDowell (Ire)