Three referees will take charge of their first games in the Guinness PRO12 this weekend with two of them creating a small piece of Championship history.
On Friday night, Welsh official Craig Evans will hold the whistle at Kingspan Stadium where Ulster Rugby host Zebre Rugby.
The following day Scottish official Mike Adamson will then become the first-ever former PRO12 player to referee a game in the Championship when he takes charge of Munster Rugby v Benetton Rugby Treviso at Thomond Park.
Twenty-four hours later, Frank Murphy will become the second former PRO12 player turned referee when he oversees the clash between Newport-Gwent Dragons and Edinburgh Rugby at Rodney Parade.
All three officials have gone through the PRO12 Referees Pathway and their profiles, plus a full listing of Referee Appointments for Round 9, are listed below.
Craig Evans (WRU) – Ulster Rugby v Zebre Rugby
Took charge of four games in last summer’s Junior World Championships in Manchester, has also refereed three games in the U20 Six Nations.
Officiated at four games in the Anglo-Welsh Cup since season 2013/14 and 21 games in the British & Irish Cup including last year’s final between Yorkshire Carnegie and London Welsh, making him the most experienced British & Irish Cup referee.
- Test history: Refereed Malta v Israel in April 2016
- Named Principality Welsh Premiership Referee of the Year in 2015
- Full-time referee with the WRU
- Has just been appointed onto the Sevens World Series for season 2016/17
Mike Adamson (SRU) – Munster Rugby v Benetton Rugby Treviso
Will become the first former player to have both played in and refereed in the PRO12. He has been refereeing in the World Sevens tournaments since 2014 and was also an official in the Olympics in Rio this summer.
Has been in charge of two games in this season’s Anglo-Welsh Cup, Saracens v Newcastle and Dragons v Scarlets. Gained international experience this season refereeing matches in the Currie Cup and in PRO D2, the French second division.
- Played for Scotland at 30 IRB Sevens tournaments and at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi
- Played for Scotland during the 2005 Under-21 World Championships in Argentina at fly half/full back
- Has previous PRO12 experience having come off the bench for Glasgow Warriors against Newport Gwent Dragons at Firhill in January 2008
Frank Murphy (IRFU) – Newport-Gwent Dragons v Edinburgh Rugby
Will become the second former PRO12 player to referee a game having appeared in his 94th and final PRO12 game in May 2014, which capped a career spanning a decade with Munster and Connacht. He also had a spell with Leicester Tigers in the Premiership.
Refereed Germany v Portugal test match in the second tier Six Nations last February, and took charge of Wales v Italy in U20 Six Nations the following month.
Officiated at 7 games in the British & Irish Cup over the last two seasons.
- Represented Ireland at U21 level and at A level in the Churchill Cup
- Appeared for Ireland senior team in an uncapped game v Barbarians at Gloucester in 2008
- Spent two seasons with Leicester Tigers, appearing in three finals with them in April/May 2007, scoring a try in their Premiership Final victory over Gloucester, playing in Heineken Cup final defeat to Wasps a week later, also in Tigers team that won Anglo-Welsh Cup against Ospreys at Twickenham
REFEREE APPOINTMENTS FOR ROUND 9
Friday, November 25, 2016
CONNACHT RUGBY v CARDIFF BLUES (KO 7.35pm)
Referee: Nigel Owens (WRU). Assistant Referee 1: Simon Rees (WRU). AR2: John Carvill (IRFU)
Television Match Official: Charles Samson (SRU)
GLASGOW WARRIORS v OSPREYS RUGBY (KO 7.35pm)
Referee: George Clancy (IRFU). AR1: Stuart Gaffikin (IRFU). AR2: Bob Nevin (SRU)
TMO: Olly Hodges (IRFU)
Broadcaster(s): Sky Sports
SCARLETS v LEINSTER RUGBY (KO 7.35pm)
Referee: Sean Gallagher (IRFU). AR1: Leo Colgan (IRFU). AR2: Elgan Williams (WRU)
TMO: Neil Hennessy (WRU)
Broadcaster(s): BBC Wales
ULSTER RUGBY v ZEBRE RUGBY (KO 7.35pm)
Referee: Craig Evans (WRU). AR1: Wayne Davies (WRU). AR2: Helen O’Reilly (IRFU)
TMO: Paul Adams (WRU)
Broadcaster(s): BBC Wales/Eurosport
Saturday, November 26, 2016
MUNSTER RUGBY v BENETTON RUGBY TREVISO (2pm)
Referee: Mike Adamson (SRU). AR1: Sam Grove-White (SRU). AR2: Oisin Quinn (IRFU).
Broadcaster(s): Not Televised.
Sunday, November 27, 2016
NEWPORT-GWENT DRAGONS v EDINBURGH RUGBY (KO 3.30pm)
Referee: Frank Murphy (IRFU). AR1: Leo Colgan (IRFU). AR2: Rhys Thomas (WRU).
TMO: Brian MacNeice (IRFU).
Guinness PRO12 Final 2017 Ticket Information: Fans can save up to 20% on selected tickets, and prices start at just €30 adults and €5 child, and be booked via www.ticketmaster.ie. For further information visit http://www.pro12rugby.com/final