There won’t be a neutral referee in charge of Glasgow Warriors’ Guinness Pro14 semi-final with Ulster at Scotstoun on Friday night after it was confirmed that John Lacey will lead an all-Irish line-up of match officials.
Scottish teams, and supporters, have had a fractious relationship with Irish referees in the past and, while neutral referees are usually employed in cross-border games in the competition it is not mandatory.
The 45-year-old Lacey, from Tipperary, refereed 37 Test matches before ending his international career last year and will retire fully at the end of this season to take up a role with the IRFU.
Lacey will be backed up at Scotstoun by Irish touch judges Andrew Brace and George Clancy as Glasgow seek a win that would secure a place in the final at Celtic Park against Leinster or Munster.
Glasgow finished the league season strongly, winning their final eight Pro14 fixtures, a run which included a 30-7 triumph over Ulster.
Scottish referee Mike Adamson will take charge of the clash of the Irish provinces in Dublin on Saturday, supported by compatriots Lloyd Linton and Keith Allen.