Ref watch: A new face

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There’ll be a new face to Cardiff Blues fans in the middle on Saturday as Italian referee Andrea Piardi takes charge of the European Challenge Cup game against Pau at the Arms Park.

The 27-year-old is officiating just his fifth game of senior professional rugby having made his Guinness Pro14 debut back in February during Munster’s 43-0 thrashing of the Southern Kings at Irish Independent Park, a game in which he did not penalise the Irish side once.

This season has seen him referee two Pro14 games, both involving Welsh teams, with the Ospreys losing at home against the Southern Kings and Leinster hammering Dragons at the RDS.

He has also made his European debut, taking charge of Worcester’s comfortable win over Enisei in Russia during round one of the Challenge Cup.

So far he has only issued four yellow cards, all of them going to the Southern Kings with three being shown in that defeat to Munster.

Piardi will be assisted by countrymen Manuel Bottino and Federico Vedovelli as touch judges, and Stefano Penne acting as TMO, with the game being shown live by S4C.

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