Saturday 21 April 2018

Romain Poite and Nigel Owens set to take charge of Leinster and Munster's Champions Cup semi-finals

Romain Poite (left) and Nigel Owens (right).
Romain Poite (left) and Nigel Owens (right). Newsdesk Newsdesk

The Irish teams will have some familiar faces in charge of their Champions Cup semi-final ties after it was announced that Nigel Owens and Romain Poite will take charge of the marquee fixtures.

Owens will have the whistle for Leinster's trip to Lyon to take on Clermont on Sunday week, while Poite will be at the Aviva Stadium the day before for Munster vs Saracens.

Elsewhere, there will be two Irish referees on duty for the European Challenge Cup semi-finals, with Andrew Brace taking charge of La Rochelle vs Gloucester and John Lacey refereeing Stade Francais vs Bath.

Earlier this week, Owens was in the spotlight after Luke Fitzgerald, speaking on The Left Wing, questioned his penchant for delivering one liners during matches.

"I don't like it personally," Fitzgerald said.

"He shouldn't be commentating on the game. His first focus is to make it a good spectacle, that he referees the game correctly.

"We're heading into a dangerous territory for me.

"It's a soccer thing, when you have everyone on the pitch talking to the referee, the referee trying to be too smart, trying to be friendly with the players

"I'd rather he just refereed the game well.

"I just think those kind of things are disappointing and it's disrespectful to the players who are putting in a huge amount of effort.

"There's no place for it in the game. You can't actually speak back. It's almost like a situation where someone is on a podium having a go at someone in the crowd. It's wrong because there's no platform to come back."

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