Alain Rolland is awarded Heineken Cup final
It is the third time the Irish referee will have officiated in the European showpiece
Alain Rolland has been selected to referee in this year’s Heineken Cup final. Photograph: Inpho/James Crombie
Ireland’s 2007 World Cup final referee Alain Rolland will take charge of his third Heineken Cup final, when he officiates in European club rugby’s showpiece match later this month involving French side Toulon and England’s Saracens.
France’s Jerome Garces, who controversially showed the red card to Ulster fullback Jared Payne early in their Ravenhill quarterfinal against Saracens, has been appointed as referee for the Amlin Challenge Cup final.
It is Garces's first European decider involving Bath and Northampton Saints at the Cardiff Arms Park on Friday, May 23rd. Rolland is in the middle the following day when reigning champions Toulon and the Premiership first-time finalists, clash at the Millennium Stadium.
Rolland gets the top job in the final season of his refereeing career as he announced that he would be retiring last year. His selection comes after match officials reviewed performances across all relevant tournaments and used that in conjunction with feedback from the referee managers in each Union and from club coaching staff.
The former Blackrock and Ireland scrumhalf refereed the 2004 Heineken Cup final between Wasps and Toulouse as well as last season’s decider between Toulon and Clermont Auvergne. His assistant referees for the game in the Welsh capital will be Nigel Owens (Wales) and George Clancy (Ireland).