Munster’s Cup ref younger than O’Connell

It’s not just team-mates and opponents getting younger for Munster veteran Paul O’Connell.

When the Ireland captain takes the field for his province’s European Champions Cup opener at Sale Sharks in 12 days the referee will be two years his junior.

Frenchman Mathieu Reynal, 33, was yesterday appointed to officiate the Pool 1 clash on October 18 as the new tournament’s organisers revealed its refereeing panel for the first two rounds. There will be two IRFU referees on duty with John Lacey taking charge of Munster’s rivals Saracens and Clermont Auvergne in London, while George Clancy will oversee Racing Metro’s home game with Northampton Saints.

Leinster’s home opener with Wasps will have Welshman Leighton Hodges in control at the RDS, while Ulster’s trip to Leicester goes to experienced French Test referee Romain Poite.

Munster will kick off round two on October 24 with Jerome Garces of France in charge of their home clash with Saracens, while England’s Greg Garner has been appointed to Leinster’s game at Castres. Clancy handles Clermont’s home game with Sale while Lacey officiates Scarlets against Leicester.


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