Jerome Garces to referee Challenge Cup Final

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The European Challenge Cup Final between Cardiff Blues and Gloucester will be refereed by French referee Jerome Garces.

44-year-old Garces is one of the top referees in the World, having officiated at two World Cups, in the Six Nations and on last summer’s British and Irish Lions tour, as well as having 83 Top14 games and 53 Champions Cup games under his belt.

It will be the second time Garces has refereed the final of Europe’s second tier competition, having been in charge when Northampton beat Bath in 2014, which took place at our very own Cardiff Arms Park.

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Garces sends off Sonny Bill Williams during the 2017 Lions tour

Despite having been refereeing in the professional levels since 2010, the Frenchman has only been in the middle for a Cardiff Blues match on six occasions, four of which have been losses for us.

However, one of the two wins can be taken as an omen, as it came away to Newcastle Falcons in April 2010 in the quarter-final of the Amlin Challenge Cup. We would, of course, go on to win the tournament that year.

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Jerome Garces speaks to Sam Warburton at the last World Cup

This domestic season has seen Garces take charge of 14 games across the Top14 and Europe, handing out 12 yellow cards and a solitary red card in the process.

Garces will be assisted in the Challenge Cup Final by countrymen Romain Poite and Pascal Gauzere, while Philippe Bonhoure will act as the Television Match Official.

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