Former Leinster player Rolland to referee Irish derby
Former Leinster scrum-half Alain Rolland has been handed the whistle for Saturday's interprovincial derby between his home province and Munster after French official Pascal Gauzere was forced to withdraw with injury.
The highly respected referee, who retires at the end of the season, has been given the blessing of both coaches to take charge of the game, while the IRFU have also approved the move.
Rolland has been identified as the best referee available at such short notice and a officiating Ireland's most high-profile domestic game in front of a packed Lansdowne Road would appear to be a fitting send-off.
It is normal practice for a neutral official to take charge of such a big occasion, but the man who took charge of the 2007 World Cup final is unlikely to find himself under much scrutiny, especially after Munster coach Rob Penney had no problem with his appointment.
The eagerly anticipated sell-out clash takes place on Saturday at 7pm.