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EPCR name referees for Leinster-Toulouse, Sharks-Gloucester finals

By Liam Heagney
Referee Matthew Carley (Photo by Stephen White/CameraSport via Getty Images)

Matthew Carley has been appointed to referee the May 25 Investec Champions Cup final between Leinster and Toulouse at Tottenham. There had been a suggestion, namely from the likes of pundit Andy Goode, that Luke Pearce should be the English official entrusted with the responsibility of taking charge of the Irish versus French decider.


However, EPCR match officials boss Tony Spreadbury has decided that Carley, whose most recent Champions Cup refereeing appointment was the round of 16 match between the Stormers and La Rochelle, would be best for the upcoming final.

Rather than do a quarter-final, Carley stayed on in South Africa and was on the whistle for the following weekend’s EPCR Challenge Cup quarter-final between the Sharks and Edinburgh in Durban on April 13.

Meanwhile, French whistler Mathieu Raynal, who is to retire at the end of this season, will take charge of the Challenge Cup final between Gloucester and the Sharks having recently been in charge of the Leinster versus Northampton Champions Cup semi-final in Dublin.

A statement read: “England’s Matthew Carley and Mathieu Raynal of France will referee the 2024 Investec Champions Cup and EPCR Challenge Cup finals respectively following the announcement on Wednesday of the match officials for the showpiece fixtures who have been appointed by a selection committee chaired by EPCR’s head of match officials, Tony Spreadbury.

Investec Champions Cup
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“Carley will be refereeing his first EPCR final when he takes charge of the heavyweight Investec Champions Cup clash between Leinster Rugby and Stade Toulousain at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on May 25.

“Raynal, who has been appointed for the EPCR Challenge Cup decider between Gloucester Rugby and the Hollywoodbets Sharks at the state-of-the-art London venue the previous evening (May 24), will also be in charge of an EPCR final for the first time.


“Carley’s assistants will be Karl Dickson of England and Italy’s Andrea Piardi with Ian Tempest, also of England, as TMO and Stefano Marrama (Itay) as the match citing commissioner.

“Raynal will have Ireland’s Andrew Brace and Pierre Brousset of France running the line with Eric Gauzins (France) as TMO and Ed Kenny (Ireland) as citing commissioner.”

(Kick-off local time)
Gloucester Rugby v Hollywoodbets Sharks
Friday 24 May – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London (20.00)
Referee: Mathieu Raynal (Fra); Assistant referees: Andrew Brace (Ire), Pierre Brousset (Fra); TMO: Eric Gauzins (Fra); Citing Commissioner: Ed Kenny (Ire)

(Kick-off local time)
Leinster Rugby v Stade Toulousain
Saturday 25 May – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London (14.45)
Referee: Matthew Carley (Eng); Assistant referees: Karl Dickson (Eng), Andrea Piardi (Ita) TMO: Ian Tempest (Eng); Citing Commissioner: Stefano Marrama (Ita)




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George 69 days ago

A poor decision to appoint Carley as not only is Pearce a better referee but also importantly speaks French.

JPM 70 days ago

Self proclaimed expert/pundit Andy Goode and his very personal views on referees…Why recalling them in such an article as if he were an undisputed authority on the subject ? Only because fellow writer ?

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