Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-final referees announced
23 March 2012 14:42pm
With a high-quality series of Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-finals set to get underway in less than a fortnight, Ireland's John Lacey will take charge of his first European club knockout game when the 2003 champions, London Wasps, take on Biarritz Olympique at Adams Park.
The last eight of a tournament which continues to grow in stature includes clubs with a strong European tradition as well as the rising stars of the English game, Exeter Chiefs, who will be experiencing an Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-final for the first time when they clash with Stade Francais Paris at Stade Charlety on Thursday, 5 April.
Peter Fitzgibbon of Ireland has been appointed to referee the Chiefs' knockout debut and his compatriot, George Clancy, who handled last season's Amlin Challenge Cup final, will be in the middle for the much-anticipated Anglo-French confrontation of the 2010 defeated finalists, Toulon, and last season's champions, Harlequins, on Friday, 6 April.
The Amlin Challenge 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 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.
What promises to be an intense weekend of European club action comes to a close on Sunday, 8 April when England's Wayne Barnes takes charge of the Brive v Scarlets quarter-final.
AMLIN CHALLENGE CUP QUARTER-FINALS (Kick offs local time)
THURSDAY, 5 APRIL
20.45 Stade Francais Paris v Exeter Chiefs - Stade Charlety
Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ire); Assistant referee 1: James Jones (Wal), Assistant referee 2: David Wilkinson (Ire)
FRIDAY, 6 APRIL
20.45 Toulon v Harlequins - Stade Félix Mayol
Referee: George Clancy (Ire); Assistant referee 1: Dudley Phillips (Ire), Assistant referee 2: Carlo Damasco (It)
SATURDAY, 7 APRIL
12.30 London Wasps v Biarritz Olympique - Adams Park
Referee: John Lacey (Ire); Assistant referee 1: Peter Allan (Sco), Assistant referee 2: Leo Colgan (Ire)
SUNDAY, 8 APRIL
20.15 Brive v Scarlets - Stadium Amédée Domenech
Referee: Wayne Barnes (Eng); Assistant referee 1: Greg Garner (Eng), Assistant referee 2: Paul Dix (Eng)
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.