European Professional Club Rugby have announced the referees who will take charge of the first two rounds of Heineken Champions Cup pool action this season.
On our return to the top table of European rugby after five seasons away, Cardiff Blues will have our games officiated by two English officials, although neither are Wayne Barnes.
Round one’s away trip to French Top14 side Lyon will be refereed by JP Doyle, the Irish-born man who has spent his refereeing career in London.
The 39-year-old has only been in charge of three Cardiff Blues first team games in his career, two of which have been on the road and both have been defeats, away to Dragons in 2015’s Challenge Cup quarter-final and at Toulon in January 2013.
However, he will best be remembered by supporters for being in the middle when Toulon came to the Arms Park and Gareth Davies scored THAT try to secure a famous victory.
The following week will then see Luke Pearce take charge of our first home game in this season’s competition when Glasgow come to town for an all-Pro14 clash.
At just 30 years old, Pearce is the up-and-comer in English refereeing, having been fast tracked through the system after taking up the whistle early in life.
He has been involved in the international al game for some time now as well, but this will be the first time he has taken charge of a game involving Cardiff Blues. As such it is his first visit to the Arms Park.
Full refereeing teams will be named closer to the time, but tickets are on sale now for the Glasgow game and can be found via the Cardiff Blues website.