Ref Watch: The mystery Frenchman

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Cardiff Blues’ opening European Challenge Cup game of the season away to Newcastle Falcons will be refereed by Frenchman Ludovic Cayre.

The 31-year-old will take charge of his fifth game in the competition and his first involving either side, having made his debut in October 2018 when Bristol Bears lost to Zebre in Parma.

Cayre has been present in the Top14 since September 2017, when he made his bow in a big home win for Montpellier over Oyonnax, and has gone on to referee 33 games in the intervening three years. He has also acted as an assistant referee in European knockout and tier two international games.

So far this season he has officiated five games in the French top division, resulting in two home wins and three away wins. He has shown four yellow cards and two red cards, one each to home and away sides. Overall 59% of his games are won the by the hosts.

Cayre will be assisted by Hamish Smales and John Meredith, with Graham Hughes acting as the Television Match Officials. Like in the Guinness Pro14, all European assistants and TMOs are from the nation of the home country due to coronavirus risks.

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