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Owens a familiar face as ref

There will be a familiar face in charge this Saturday when Welshman Nigel Owens referees the Magners League Grand Final between Munster and Leinster at Thomond Park (5.05), writes Hugh Farrelly.

Both provinces are well used to the 39-year-old. He refereed the famous 2009 Heineken Cup semi-final won by Leinster in Croke Park, as well as their final victory over Leicester in Murrayfield.

Owens was also in charge when Munster won the 2008 final against Toulouse in Cardiff and for Ireland's Six Nations victory against Scotland in Murrayfield last February.

One of the elite 10 referees assigned to the World Cup later this year, Owens will be officiating in his 75th Magners League match on Saturday.

He will be making a swift return to Limerick, having taken charge of Munster's semi-final play-off win over the Ospreys. Owens is also scheduled to referee Ireland's World Cup warm-up clash with England at Lansdowne Road on August 27.

Irish Independent