Nigel Owens is back in business on the European stage, the veteran referee from Wales appointed to take charge of next Saturday’s Racing versus Saracens Champions Cup semi-final in Paris.
Eyebrows were raised when Owens was omitted from duties at any of last weekend’s eight fixtures across the Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup quarter-finals.
He took to Twitter on September 8 to explain what he would be doing with his unexpected free time, posting: “With no appointments to referee for next few weeks at least life on the farm is keeping one very busy and active.”
However, the 2015 World Cup final referee is now back on deck, ready to take charge of the big showdown in Paris, an unexpected semi-final fixture as the consensus prior to last weekend was that Leinster would be hosting Clermont in Dublin only for both clubs to lose their home quarter-finals.
IRFU referee Andrew Brace, who was in charge of the recent Guinness PRO14 final featuring Leinster vs Ulster, will take charge of Saturday’s other Heineken Cup semi-final, the Sandy Park meeting of Exeter and Toulouse.
With no appointments to referee for next few weeks at least life on the farm is keeping one very busy and active. First calf for this heifer both doing well after some help along the way thanks to Rhys @ProStockVets. Another bull calf addition to The Mairwen Herd pic.twitter.com/Fa7N03sjJZ
— Nigel Owens MBE (@Nigelrefowens) September 8, 2020
Ireland’s Frank Murphy and Scotland’s Mike Adamson have been appointed to the respective Challenge Cup semi-finals, starting with Bristol vs Bordeaux on Friday followed by Toulon against Leicester the following night.
HEINEKEN CHAMPIONS CUP SEMI-FINALS
(Kick-offs local time)
RACING 92 v SARACENS
Saturday – Paris La Défense Arena 14.00
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
EXETER CHIEFS v TOULOUSE
Saturday – Sandy Park 15.30
Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland)
CHALLENGE CUP SEMI-FINALS
(Kick-offs local time)
BRISTOL BEARS v BORDEAUX-BEGLES
Friday – Ashton Gate Stadium 19.45
Referee: Frank Murphy (Ireland)
RC TOULON v LEICESTER TIGERS
Saturday – Stade Félix Mayol 21.00
Referee: Mike Adamson (Scotland)
This is genius ?https://t.co/lRw3lIEg2u
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) September 18, 2020
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