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History in Round 4 - Europe´s Appointments

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European Professional Club Rugby has named the referees for Rounds 3 & 4 of its Champions Cup and its Challenge Cup, and in Round 5 there is an historic appointment.

By Paul Dobson, Moonsport

Joy Neville of Ireland becomes the first woman to referee in one of the EPCR matches when she referees the Challenge Cup match between Bordeaux-Bègles of France and the Russian club Enisei-STM.

Joy Neville had a glittering playing career, representing Ireland for 11 seasons. She captained Ireland to victory in the Women's Six Nations in 2013, her last playing season. Playing over, she started refereeing and her career has already been remarkable. This year she refereed the final of the Women's World Cup and more and more has become involved in men's rugby.

Two weeks ago she became the second woman to referee a men's test, Norway vs Denmark, two weeks after Alhambra Nievas had refereed the match between Finland and Norway.

More and more, more and more women are refereeing in men's competitions - Aimee Barrett-Theron, Amy Perrett, Chelsea Gurr, Claire Hodnett, Dana Teargarden, Sherry Trumbull, Leah Berard, Helen O'Reilly and several others.

There are 40 referees appointed to Rounds 3 & 4 of the Champions Cup and the Challenge Cup. The appointments are done by an EPCR selection committee, chaired by Joël Jutge of France.

Two of the matches are repeats of last season's final - Saracens vs Clermont with Nigel Owens to referee it in Round 3 and Johnny Lacey to referee it in Round 2.

Round 3 starts on 7 December 2017, Round 4 on 14 December 2017.

Champions Cup

Round 3

Glasgow Warriors vs Montpellier
Referee: Matthew Carley (England)

Scarlets vs Benetton Treviso
Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)

Toulon vs Bath
Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland)

Northampton Saints vs Ospreys
Referee: Alexandre Ruiz (France)

Castres vs Racing
Referee: Luke Pearce (England)

Munster vs Leicester Tigers
Referee: Jérôme Garcès (France)

Harlequins vs Ulster
Referee: Pascal Gaüzère (France)

La Rochelle vs Wasps
Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)

Saracens vs Clermont
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)

Exeter Chiefs vs Leinster
Referee: Romain Poite (France)

Challenge Cup Match Officials

Toulouse vs Lyon
Referee: JP Doyle (England)

Dragons vs Enisei-STM
Referee: Vlad Iordachescu (Romania)

Agen vs Pau
Referee: Tom Foley (England)

Stade Français vs Krasny Yar
Referee: Dan Jones (Wales)

Zebre vs Gloucester Rugby
Referee: Mike Adamson (Scotland)

Sale Sharks vs Cardiff Blues
Referee: Pierre Brousset (France)

Worcester Warriors vs Oyonnax
Referee: Frank Murphy (Ireland)

Newcastle Falcons vs Bordeaux-Bègles
Referee: Ian Davies (Wales)

Edinburgh vs London Irish
Referee: Sean Gallagher (Ireland)

Brive vs Connacht
Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys (England)

Round 4

Champions Cup

Ulster Rugby vs Harlequins
Referee: Alexandre Ruiz (France)

Montpellier vs Glasgow Warriors
Referee: JP Doyle (England)

Benetton vs Scarlets
Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland)

Leinster vs Exeter Chiefs
Referee: Pascal Gaüzère (France)

Racing vs Castres
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)

Bath vs Toulon
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)

Wasps vs La Rochelle
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)

Ospreys vs Northampton Saints
Referee: Marius Mitrea (Italy)

Clermont vs Saracens
Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)

Leicester Tigers vs Munster Rugby
Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)

Challenge Cup Match Officials

Pau vs Agen
Referee: Sean Gallagher (Ireland)

Dragons vs Newcastle Falcons
Referee: Mike Adamson (Scotland)

Edinburgh vs Krasny Yar
Referee: David Wilkinson (Ireland)

Oyonnax vs Worcester Warriors
Referee: Vlad Iordachescu (Romania)

Bordeaux-Bègles vs Enisei-STM
Referee: Joy Neville (Ireland)

Gloucester Rugby vs Zebre
Referee: Pierre Brousset (France)

London Irish vs Stade Français 
Referee: Ben Whitehouse (Wales)

Connacht vs Brive
Referee: Ian Tempest (England)

Lyon vs Toulouse
Referee: Luke Pearce (England)

Cardiff Blues vs Sale Sharks
Referee: Thomas Charabas (France) 

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