Nigel Owens was the referee for Saracens v Munster semi-final
Nigel Owens named as Heineken Cup final referee
8 May 2008, 5:44 pm
Nigel Owens will referee his first Heineken Cup final when he takes charge of the clash between Munster and Toulouse at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, on Saturday, 24 May (17.00).
The leading Welsh official refereed his first semi-final when he was in the middle for Munster's win over Saracens at the Ricoh Arena last month and the final will mean he has not missed a single tournament weekend, controlling a maximum nine Heineken Cup matches this season.
And the added bonus for Owens is that he will be in charge of the match on "home soil," referees rarely able to officiate at major matches played on their own national ground.
The final will be 36-year-old Owens 32nd Heineken Cup match and his 39th European fixture overall, including last season's European Challenge Cup final between ASM Clermont Auvergne and Bath Rugby at the Twickenham Stoop.
He will be the third Welsh referee to take charge of a Heineken Cup final, following in the footsteps of Derek Bevan (1997) and Clayton Thomas (1999), and the 11th referee to take charge of European club rugby's showpiece match.
Owens made his European bow when he refereed the 2001 match between London Irish and Piacenza.
NIGEL OWENS' EUROPEAN RECORD
Heineken Cup - 31 matches
European Challenge Cup - 7 matches
HEINEKEN CUP 2008 FINAL
(Kick-off LOCAL time)
SATURDAY 24 MAY
MUNSTER v TOULOUSE
17.00 - Millennium Stadium, Cardiff - Sky Sports / France Televisions / Sky Italia / S4C** / RTE**
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Touch Judges: Nigel Whitehouse, Hugh Watkins (Wales)
Fourth Official / Reserve Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
TMO: Derek Bevan (Wales)