ESPN SCRUM

/ Aviva Premiership 2013-14

/ News

Heineken Cup
Owens overlooked for final after 'pressure' from French
ESPN Staff
May 4, 2014
Nigel Owens in action at the 2011 World Cup © Getty Images
Enlarge

Nigel Owens appears to have paid the price for awarding Saracens a controversial penalty try during their Heineken Cup semi-final victory over Clermont by being overlooked for the final on May 24.

The Sunday Times reports that Owens, who had been favourite to take charge of the clash between Saracens and Toulon at the Millennium Stadium, has been rejected in favour of Alain Rolland after pressure on the refereeing selection panel from French representatives.

The French lobby was angered by the penalty try awarded by Owens at Twickenham, which came when Clermont fly-half Brock James batted the ball out of play behind his own tryline. Owens also sent James to the sin-bin, although it was unclear whether Saracens would definitely have scored but for the infringement, thereby justifying a penalty try.

Rolland, who retires at the end of the season, has the advantage of being bilingual. However he has attracted criticism for being too strict when officiating the attacking team. He took charge of the 2004 final between London Wasps and Toulouse, as well as last season's decider between Toulon and Clermont Auvergne.

Welshman Owens will appear as an assistant referee for the final, along with George Clancy of Ireland.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

Live Sports

Communication error please reload the page.

  • Latest
  • Most Viewed
  • News
  • Features
  • Golf

    Steve Stricker to return from back surgery at the Masters

    Steve Stricker intends to play the Masters next week, his first competition since back surgery four months ago

  • Football

    England eyeing 2030 World Cup bid, says David Gill

    FA vice-chairman David Gill claims that England could bid for the 2030 World Cup if FIFA is able to prove that the bidding process is transparent

  • Football

    FIFA whistleblower urges clubs to apply pressure for change

    FIFA whistleblower Bonita Mersiades has urged leading European clubs to put pressure on world football's governing body to reform

  • Formula 1

    Ecclestone keen on all-female world championship

    Bernie Ecclestone has suggested the creation of an all-female world championship to run alongside Formula One to encourage more women to enter the sport

  • Football

    Messi ranks top, Ronaldo 29th in European striker study

    Lionel Messi has been the best performing forward in Europe's elite leagues in 2015, according to a CIES Football Observatory study, while it ranked Cristiano Ronaldo only 29th among forwards

  • News
  • Features

Sponsored Links

Make Huge Income from your Home
Download your Free Guide And Learn How To Increase Your Monthly Income