Trio of English referees in charge for Irish provinces’ Champions Cup opening games

France’s Pierre Brousset will preside over the game between Johan van Graan’s Bath and Ulster

A trio of English referees will take charge of matches involving Irish provinces on the opening weekend of the Investec Champions Cup while France’s Pierre Brousset will preside over the game between Johan van Graan’s Bath and Ulster at the Recreation Ground.

Matthew Carley will referee a repeat of last year’s final but this time it is Ronan O’Gara’s La Rochelle that are at home when they host Leinster at the Stade Marcel Deflandre. Luke Pearce is the man in the middle for Munster’s home game against Bayonne while Karl Dickson fulfils a similar role for Connacht’s game against Bordeaux Begles in the Sportsground.

France’s Luc Ramos is in charge of Connacht’s trip to Saracens on the second weekend, Leinster will have compatriot Pierre Brousset, Munster, a third Frenchman in Taul Trainini and Ulster, Luke Pearce. Irish referees Chris Busby, Andrew Brace and Frank Murphy are also in action in the first fortnight of the tournament.

Fixtures:

Friday, December 8th

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Connacht v Bordeaux Begles, The Sportsground, 8pm

Saturday, December 9th

Bath v Ulster, The Rec, 3.15pm

Munster v Bayonne, Thomond Park, 5.30pm

Sunday, December 10th

La Rochelle v Leinster, Stade Marcel Deflandre, 3.15pm

John O'Sullivan

John O'Sullivan

John O'Sullivan is an Irish Times sports writer