Twickenham to host inaugural European Champions Cup final
The Stoop named as venue for Challenge Cup decider
Twickeham last held the European decider when Brian O’Driscoll helped Leinster beat Ulster to win the Heneken Cup in 2012. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho
Twickenham will host the inaugural European Rugby Champions Cup final on Saturday May 2nd next year, with The Stoop named as the venue for the Challenge Cup final the night before.
European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR), the new company set up to organise the competitions, undertook what they described as a “competitive tender process” open to countries which provide the clubs for the English Premiership, the French Top 14 and the Pro12 competitions.
According to a press release released from the EPCR in Switzerland, the awarding the two finals to London grounds “ will guarantee the best possible financial return to the clubs”.
Next year’s final will be the fifth time the 82,000-capacity Twickenham will host the European decider, setting an an attendance record in 2012 when 81,744 fans attended Leinster’s victory over Ulster.
The Twickenham Stoop will also be hosting a European final for the fifth time.
Tickets for both finals will go on sale on Monday August 18th and range in price from £38 (€48) to £115 (€148).
EPCR director and executive committee member, Bruce Craig, said: “In the inaugural season of the tournaments, the board of EPCR took the view that fairest and the most commercially-sound approach was to award the finals based on a competitive tender process.
“The RFU’s bid was extremely strong and the fact that we are going to London for the 2015 finals is hugely positive for European club rugby. Twickenham Stadium and the Twickenham Stoop tick every box for fans wishing to attend both the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup finals next May and with both venues steeped in rugby history, we are certain that the weekend will be an unforgettable experience.”
RFU chief executive, Ian Ritchie, said: “We are delighted to have been chosen as host for EPCR’s inaugural finals. This is a particularly exciting time for European club rugby as we move into a new era, and we see both games as constituting one marvellous event which will bring tens of thousands of supporters from across Europe into London and Twickenham.”
It is believed that the Stade de France in Paris was the other venue being considered for the the two finals.
ERC, the previous organisers of the competitions, were looking at the possibility of holding next year’s final at the San Siro stadium in Milan.
The full fixtures for both competitions will be announced on Thursday.
Pool stage weekends
Round 1: 16/17/18/19 October 2014
Round 2: 23/24/25/26 October 2014
Round 3: 4/5/6/7 December 2014
Round 4: 11/12/13/14 December 2014
Round 5: 15/16/17/18 January 2015
Round 6: 22/23/24/25 January 2015
Knockout stage weekends
Quarter-finals: 3/4/5 April 2015
Semi-finals: 17/18/19 April 2015
Finals: 1/2 May 2015