English official Pearson will take charge of champions Leinster’s last-eight tie with Cardiff Blues on Easter Saturday, April 7, bringing him back to the Aviva Stadium for the first time since his controversial decision to recommend only a yellow card for Wales lock Bradley Davies following his dangerous tackle on Ireland’s Donnacha Ryan. Davies was later cited for the tackle and handed a seven-week ban from a Six Nations disciplinary panel. Ironically, Davies will be clear to face Leinster at the Aviva for the Blues as his suspension ends on the Monday.
France’s Poite took charge of last year’s Heineken Cup final and has been handed the whistle for the all-Irish clash between Munster and Ulster at Thomond Park on Easter Sunday, April 8.
Poite and Munster skipper Paul O’Connell have clashed in the past and he yellow carded the second row in Heineken Cup clashes against Northampton in 2010. The French official controversially awarded 14 penalties against Ireland in the Six Nations tie away to Italy last year. Welshman Nigel Owens gets quarter-final weekend underway as he officiates Edinburgh’s Murrayfield clash with four-time champions Toulouse on April 7 while Ireland’s Alain Rolland takes charge for the last of the quarter-finals as Saracens host Clermont Auvergne at Vicarage Road on April 8.