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.

  • Football

  • Cricket

  • Rugby

    • Days
    • Hrs
    • Mins
    • Secs

    F1 - Australian GP

  • OtherLive >>

    Golf - Joburg Open
    Golf - Honda Classic
    Tennis - Dubai Championships
    Tennis - Mexican Open
  • Latest
  • Most Viewed
  • News
  • Features
  • Golf

    'P***** off' McIlroy set to miss Honda Classic cut

    Rory McIlroy's 2015 US debut ended quickly at the Honda Classic, where he was projected to miss the cut on Friday after shooting rounds of 73-74 at PGA National

  • Rugby

    Cheetahs inflict further pain on winless Blues

    The Blues have made their worst start to a Super Rugby season after conceding a controversial late penalty to lose 25-24 to the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein

  • Tennis

    Azarenka rallies to beat Venus and reach Qatar final

    Victoria Azarenka reached the final of the Qatar Open on Friday after recovering from one set down to beat Venus Williams

  • Rugby

    Saints move 13 points clear at the top

    Champions Northampton moved 13 points clear at the top of the Aviva Premiership with a victory which surely ends Harlequins' hopes of reaching the top four

  • Rugby

    Ulster down Scarlets to move level at top

    Ulster made it four Guinness PRO12 wins in succession to move level with Glasgow at the top of the table, downing Scarlets 25-20 in a hard-fought match

  • News
  • Features
Sponsored Links
Make Huge Income from your Home
Download your Free Guide And Learn How To Increase Your Monthly Income
Make $170 in 60 seconds!
Google Vs Facebook, 60 sec. knock out! Choose a champion, Become a Winner!
Make $25 in 1 Minute!
Start trading with the biggest broker! Register now to receive $25 for FREE!