The ninth season of the Heineken Cup tournament will come to a pulsating
climax at Twickenham on Sunday with defending champions Toulouse going for an
unprecedented third title.
The ninth season of the Heineken Cup tournament will come to a pulsating climax
at Twickenham on Sunday with defending champions Toulouse going for an
unprecedented third title and London Wasps aiming to be crowned European
club kings for the first time in what has all the hallmarks of being a fascinating
final (3.00 pm).
And Lawrence Dallaglio’s Wasps are being tipped as slight favorites for the
Northern Hemisphere’s showpiece club occasion – although Toulouse half-backs
Frederic Michalak and Jean-Baptiste Elissalde could be the reigning champions’
That is the independent view of Stade Francais coach Nick Mallett,
whose side beat Toulouse 24-18 in the French Championship play-offs at the weekend.
“Both teams deserve to be in the final – they are without a doubt the best two
teams in the competition this year, said the former South African coach.
“If both teams had full sides and were fully concentrating on this match,
I would give Wasps a 60% chance of winning with the home support they will have
on the day.
But they’ve lost Craig Dowd – and Simon Shaw and Joe Worsley have been injured
– whereas Toulouse’s injured players, especially their half backs, have had
more time to come back and they will be better again by next week so maybe it
is more 50/50.
“However it’s difficult to predict the outcome of the Heineken Cup final on
recent form because maybe both teams have had one eye on the Twickenham match.
“I think the administrators should have a rethink about how they structure
the season because these two teams are trying to play vital games in two competitions
at the same time when they should be able to concentrate on the Heineken Cup
Heineken Cup Final 2004
LONDON WASPS v TOULOUSE
Twickenham – Sunday 23rd May – 3.00 pm
Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland).
Touch Judges: Alan Lewis, Donal Courtney (Ireland)
TMO: David McHugh (Ireland)
TV: SKY SPORTS, FR 2, RTE.