18 May, 11:09
IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne has issued a statement following confirmation of Ronan O'Gara's decision to retire from playing professional rugby.
The eight are Ronan O'Gara, John Hayes, David Wallace (Munster) and Yannick Jauzion, William Servat, Jean-Baptiste Poux, Fabien Pelous and Jean Bouilhou (Toulouse).
- This will be only the third Anglo-Irish final - with the score standing at 2-0 to the English clubs, Northampton Saints and Leicester Tigers beating Munster 9-8 in 2000 and 15-9 in 2002 respectively.
- It will be the 10th Heineken Cup final staged on a Saturday but only the third Saturday showpiece match in the last six seasons.
- Over three-quarters of a million fans are set to attend Heineken Cup finals - a total of 719,015 fans have gone through the turnstiles for the 13 finals so far at an average of 55,309 per match. The first final, between Cardiff and Toulouse at the old Arms Park on January 6, 1996, attracted a crowd of 21,800.
- Players from 14 different nationalities are on the winners' roll of honour, headed by 72 Englishmen and 65 Frenchmen. There are also players from Ireland (51), Scotland (10), Wales and New Zealand (eight each), South Africa (five), Samoa (four), Argentina (three), Australia (two) and one from each of Italy, USA, Canada and Poland.
- The most points scored in a Heineken Cup final is the 64 rattled up at Parc des Princes in 2001. The 34 scored that day by Leicester Tigers is the most scored by a team in a final and the 30 scored by Stade Francais Paris is the most scored by a losing team.
- The most tries scored in a final to date is the four by Brive when they beat Leicester Tigers 28-9 in Cardiff in 1997. The 19-point winning margin is the biggest in the 13 finals.
- The most points scored by an individual in a final is the 30 kicked by Stade Francais Paris' Diego Dominguez (nine penalty goals and a drop goal) in the 2001 defeat by Leicester.
- Two of the 13 finals have failed to produce a try - when Ulster beat Colomiers 21-6 in 1999 and when Toulouse needed extra-time in the 2005 final to beat Stade Francais Paris 18-12.
- This 14th final will be the 977th tournament match. Match number 1000 will be the penultimate pool match in round 2 of next season's tournament.
- Leinster have made it an Irish clean-sweep in that three of the four Irish provinces have now qualified for a final with Irish teams involved in six of the 14 matches.
They will be attempting to be the ninth team to lift the trophy following Toulouse (3), Leicester Tigers, Munster and London Wasps (2 each), Brive, Bath, Ulster and Northampton Saints.
- The 13 finals have produced 23 tries - an average of 1.77 per match - with two players scoring braces. Sebastien Carrat got two for Brive in the 1997 final and Leon Lloyd crossed twice for Leicester Tigers in Paris in 2001.
- Two of the finals have required extra-time to determine the winner and Toulouse won on both occasions, against Cardiff in 1996 and Stade Francais Paris in 2005.
- Chris White is the only referee to take charge of three finals - in 2003, 2005 and 2006.
- Austin Healey is the only player who has won two Heineken Cup final man-of-the-match awards, in the Tigers' back-to-back triumphs in 2001 and 2002.
- There have been three single nation finals, the strictly French affairs in 2003 (Toulouse v Perpignan) and 2005 (Toulouse v Stade Francais) and the battle of England in 2007 between London Wasps and Leicester Tigers.
- Raphael Ibanez, the London Wasps hooker, became the only front five forward so far to score a try in a Heineken Cup final when he crossed the Leicester Tigers' line in 2007.
Only four forwards have scored Heineken Cup final tries - the others are flankers David Wallace (Munster) in 2000 and Neil Back (Leicester Tigers) in 2001 and Munster number 8 Denis Leamy 12 months ago.