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Heineken Cup: Facts Of The Final

Heineken Cup: Facts Of The Final

Find out all the facts about Saturday’s historic Heineken Cup final between provincial rivals Leinster and Ulster at Twickenham (kick-off 5pm).

(1). This will be the 17th Heineken Cup final, but the first to feature two Irish provinces. There have been three all-French finals – Toulouse v Perpignan in 2003, Toulouse v Stade Francais in 2005 and the 2010 final between Toulouse and Biarritz Olympique. There has been one all-English final – Leicester Tigers v London Wasps in 2007.

(2). With an all-Irish final in 2012, the Heineken Cup trophy will be heading to Ireland for the fifth time in seven seasons, the sixth title overall in the seventeen seasons of Heineken Cup rugby. English clubs have also won the tournament six times, with French sides taking it home on five occasions.

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(3). Victory for Ulster would send the trophy back to Belfast for the second time, tying them with Munster and Leinster.

(4). If Leinster lift the Heineken Cup they will become only the second side after Leicester to retain the trophy. It will also give them a third title in four years, leading many to argue they are the greatest ever Heineken Cup team.

(5). Ulster have won the coin toss to determine the ‘home’ side on the day. They will use the home ‘England’ dressing room at RFU headquarters.

(6). The all-Irish final means Ireland will have an additional place in the 2012/13 Heineken Cup tournament, with Connacht joining Leinster, Munster and Ulster in the competition for the second successive season.

(7). Twickenham has hosted three Heineken Cup finals before, with English sides winning all three. Northampton Saints beat Munster in 2000, London Wasps overcame Toulouse in 2004 and Wasps were victorious again in 2007 against Leicester Tigers.

(8). The game is already an 82,000 sell-out.

(9). Bookmakers make Leinster favourites at 3/10, with Ulster currently priced at 3/1.

(10). Leinster lock Brad Thorn will become the oldest player to appear in a Heineken Cup final, if selected. The All Black Rugby World Cup winner turned 37 in February.

(11). Leinster are aiming to become the first team to go through an entire Heineken Cup campaign unbeaten, having so far this season claimed seven victories and a draw.

(12). Former Italy international Diego Dominguez holds the record for the most points scored in a Heineken Cup final, kicking 30 for Stade Francais against Leicester in 2001.

(13). Two of the previous Heineken Cup finals have failed to produce a try – Ulster against Colomiers in 1999 and Toulouse versus Stade Francais seven years ago.

(14). No player has scored three tries in a Heineken Cup final, with the record of two jointly held by Jonathan Sexton (Leinster), Leon Lloyd (Leicester) and Sebastien Carrat (Brive).

(15). Brive’s 28-9 victory over Leicester in the 1997 decider is the record winning margin in a Heineken Cup final.

– With thanks to ERC and PA Sport