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First knockout appointments for Murphy and Brace as they're handed whistle for Pro14 semis

Welsh official Andrew Brace will be familiar with the dynamic having refereed Leinster and Munster’s most recent encounter a fortnight ago.

Cork man Frank Murphy will take charge of Ulster's trip to Edinburgh on Saturday.
Cork man Frank Murphy will take charge of Ulster's trip to Edinburgh on Saturday.
Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

WELSHMAN ANDREW BRACE will take charge of Friday’s Guinness Pro14 semi-final between Leinster and Munster at the Aviva Stadium (19:35, eir Sport 1), while former Munster and Connacht scrum-half Frank Murphy will referee Ulster’s last-four visit to Edinburgh at Murrayfield the following day (19:35, eir Sport 1).

The Irish derby will be Brace’s 54th league game at the whistle while Cork man Murphy will officiate his 34th in the Scottish capital. The fixtures mark both referees’ first knockout-tie appointments in the Pro14.

Brace was the man in the middle for the most recent Leinster-Munster encounter at the Aviva a fortnight ago, with the hosts emerging 27-25 victors.

Both referees will be supported by assistant referee teams from the host union so as to ensure necessary travel is kept to a minimum amid pandemic protocols.

andrew-brace Andrew Brace took charge of the same fixture at the same ground a fortnight ago. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

During Friday’s encounter, Brace’s assistant referees will be Limerick’s George Clancy and Meath’s Sean Gallagher, while Dublin’s Brian MacNeice will oversee TMO duties.

For Edinburgh-Ulster on Saturday, Murphy will be assisted by Stirling native Mike Adamson and Aberdonian Sam Grove-White. Belfast-native Scottish Rugby Union official Neil Patterson has been appointed TMO.

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