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Cardiff To Host 2011 Heineken Cup Final

Cardiff To Host 2011 Heineken Cup Final

ERC, the Heineken Cup organisers, have announced that Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium will host the 16th Heineken Cup final over the weekend of May 21-22 next year.

ERC have also confirmed that the 2012 Heineken Cup final will be played at Twickenham Stadium in London over the weekend of May 19-20, 2012.

The Welsh Rugby Union won the bid to host the world’s biggest club rugby final in 2011, which will return to the Welsh capital for the sixth time in 16 seasons. Of course, Munster memorably won the title there in both 2006 and 2008.

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With ERC’s season structures already in place for both 2011 and 2012, it was also decided to seek bids to host the 2012 Heineken Cup final, and the English Rugby Football Union was successful in securing the showpiece match for the fourth time.

This coming weekend will see thousands of fans from France and the rest of Europe converge on Paris for the 2010 Heineken Cup final between Biarritz Olympique and Toulouse in front of yet another sell-out crowd at the Stade de France.

However, at the very beginning of European club rugby 15 years ago, Cardiff hosted the first two Heineken Cup finals, when French clubs, Toulouse and Brive, won the coveted trophy at the old national ground, Cardiff Arms Park.

The magnificent Millennium Stadium was built to host the 1999 Rugby World Cup on the same site as the Arms Park, and has since hosted three more European finals.

Leicester Tigers became the first team to complete back-to-back Heineken Cup triumphs when they beat Munster in 2002, in front of a then tournament and stadium record crowd of 74,600.

However, Munster returned to Cardiff to beat French opposition and raise the trophy in both 2006 and 2008.

ERC Chief Executive Derek McGrath said: “We are delighted to be coming back to Cardiff for the 2011 Heineken Cup final. It is a city that has fully embraced the Heineken Cup ever since our first season when the home team reached the inaugural final.

“We have already staged five hugely successful finals in the Welsh capital and it will be exciting for all the clubs in the tournament to be aiming to play at the magnificent home of Welsh rugby.

“Following on from the successful partnership model adopted for the Cardiff 2006 and 2008 finals, ERC will be working in partnership with the WRU, Millennium Stadium plc, the Welsh Assembly Government and Cardiff City Council to create a truly memorable Heineken Cup final occasion with a sell-out crowd.

“ERC are also very much looking forward to our return to Twickenham in 2012. Twickenham successfully staged the Heineken Cup finals in 2000, 2004 and 2007 and we fully expect another memorable occasion in two years’ time.”

Tickets for the Cardiff 2011 Heineken Cup final at the Millennium Stadium went on pre-sale today (Monday, May 17) to www.ercrugby.com subscribers. Information regarding the public sale of tickets, which begins next Saturday (May 22) will be posted at a later date on ercrugby.com.