London to host European Rugby finals

August 13, 2014 - 12:00:00 am

LONDON: The finals of European Rugby’s two new club competitions will both be staged in London, organisers announced yesterday.

The final of the 2014/15 European Rugby Champions Cup, the successor to the European Cup, will take place at Twickenham Stadium on May 2.

The second-tier European Rugby Challenge Cup will take place 24 hours earlier at the nearby Twickenham Stoop, the home ground of English Premiership side Harlequins.

Both tournaments will be overseen by the Swiss-based European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR), which effectively took over the running of the continent’s elite tournaments after a club-led revolt against the pre-existing European Rugby Cup after leading teams called for a greater say in how the events were run.

An EPCR statement said England’s Rugby Football Union (RFU) was awarded the inaugural finals by the EPCR Board following a “competitive tender process” which was open to the six countries which provide the clubs for the English Premiership, France’s Top 14 and the Celtic League (Scotland, Ireland, Wales and Italy).  The statement added that the RFU’s successful bid “will guarantee the best possible financial return to the clubs”.

Next year’s showpiece fixture will be the fifth time that Twickenham.

The south-west London ground set an attendance record for a European decider in 2012 when 81,744 fans watched Leinster’s victory over Ulster.

Meanwhile, the Stoop will also be hosting a European final for the fifth time. On the last occasion the Stoop staged a Challenge Cup decider, Biarritz defeated fellow Toulon in 2012.