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Referee Andrew Brace reassigned following horrific online abuse

Andrew Brace has been reassigned for next week's Heineken Champions Cup action after he received ...

Andrew Brace has been reassigned for next week's Heineken Champions Cup action after he received a torrent of social media abuse. 

The 32-year old was due to be the man in the middle for Sunday week's meeting of Toulouse and Exeter Chiefs.

Instead, he'll take charge of Wasps' game with Montpellier on Friday week, with Mike Adamson taking the game in France.

Brace received the online abuse for his officiating in last Sunday's Autumn Nations Cup final clash of England and France.

In the lead up to a match-levelling try from Luke Cowan-Dickie, Brace missed what appeared to be a knock-on from England's Billy Vunipola.

England went on to win the game courtesy of an Owen Farrell penalty.

The abuse directed at the referee went so far as to tagging the Limerick-based Cardiff native in response to an obituary he'd posted for his late father.

A European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR)  official said they made the decision to reassign Brace away from France next week for his own benefit.

"EPCR and the selection committee regard Andrew Brace as a highly-talented match official," they said, And with his welfare and development as a referee to the fore, this course of action was deemed to be appropriate in the circumstances."

The EPCR added, "The Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup Match Officials selection committee, chaired by Joel Jutge, EPCR’s Head of Match Officials, decided that due to the personal nature of some of the criticism levelled at Andrew Brace following last weekend’s Autumn Nations Cup match between England and France, it was prudent on this occasion to make the appointment changes."

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Andrew Brace Epcr Exeter Chiefs Heineken Champions Cup Montpellier Toulouse Wasps