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URC, Final - referee appointments

NEWS: One year after becoming the first Italian match official to referee a United Rugby Championship Grand Final, Andrea Piardi has been appointed to this season’s showpiece decider in Pretoria where the Bulls meet Glasgow Warriors.

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Having impressed in last year’s Grand Final, the 31-year-old, who was part of the match officials team for the World Cup in France and recently debuted in the Six Nations (Ireland v Wales), has made a further eight appearances this season to underscore his impressive rise since first taking charge of a league fixture in February 2019.

Piardi has been a familiar face in the URC Play-Offs in the past three seasons and this marks his sixth appointment for a knock-out game in that time spell. Saturday’s Grand Final at Loftus Versfeld will be the Italian’s 45th league appearance.

Piardi’s Match Officials team will consist of Frank Murphy (Ireland) and Craig Evans (Wales) as Assistant Referee one and two, respectively. Matteo Liperini (Italy) will serve as the Television Match Official (TMO). The team will have the combined experience of 188 league games.

Due to a policy of neutrality for match official appointments for the Grand Final, no South African or Scottish referees could be considered.

SATURDAY, JUNE 22

URC Grand Final

Bulls v Glasgow Warriors
(Loftus Versveld Stadium, Pretoria – Kick-off: 18.00; 16.00 GMT; 17.00 IRE & UK time)

Referee: Andrea Piardi (Italy)
Assistant referees: Frank Murphy (Ireland) and Craig Evans (Wales)
TMO: Matteo Liperini (Italy)

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