Twickenham and The Stoop to stage inaugural EPCR finals
The two highest profile matches in the 2014/15 European club rugby calendar will be staged in the English capital following today’s (Tuesday, 12 August) announcement by EPCR that London is set to host the finals of the new-look European Rugby Champions Cup and European Rugby Challenge Cup tournaments.
The decider of the Challenge Cup – the competition in which Newcastle Falcons will play this season – will go ahead at the Twickenham Stoop on Friday, 1 May 2015 with the Champions Cup final played the following day at the 82,000-capacity Twickenham Stadium as the culmination of the 20th season in the history of European club rugby.
The 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 Aviva Premiership, the Top 14 and the Guinness PRO12 competitions. The RFU’s successful bid will guarantee the best possible financial return to the clubs.
Next year’s showpiece match will be the fifth time that Twickenham Stadium has staged a major European final and the iconic venue set an attendance record for a European decider in 2012 when 81,744 fans packed in to witness Leinster Rugby’s victory over Irish rivals, Ulster Rugby.
The atmospheric Twickenham Stoop will also be hosting a European final for the fifth time when the Challenge Cup kicks off EPCR’s weekend festival of rugby next May. On the last occasion that The Stoop staged a Challenge Cup decider, Biarritz Olympique defeated RC Toulon in 2012.
Tickets for the two finals which will showcase the best of European professional club rugby will go on public sale from Monday, 18 August, while previous purchasers of European finals tickets and epcrugby.com ezine subscribers will be eligible to buy Golden Tickets which cover both games from today (Tuesday, 12 August).
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.”
David Ellis, Harlequins Chief Executive, said: “We’re really pleased to be hosting the inaugural final of this competition in conjunction with EPCR and the RFU. This will be the fifth time The Stoop has staged a Challenge Cup final, more than any other venue in the 20 years of European professional club rugby, and something that Harlequins is very proud of. We are determined to make this event the best yet and look forward to welcoming the finalists next May.”
**LONDON 2015 FINALS**
– European Rugby Challenge Cup – Twickenham Stoop; Friday, 1 May 2015 (7.45)
– European Rugby Champions Cup – Twickenham Stadium; Saturday, 2 May 2015 (5.00)
**TICKET PRICES** (full details on [epcrugby.com])
– Golden Tickets: Category D £50; Category C £75; Category B £99; Category A £115
– European Rugby Champions Cup: Category D £38; Category C £48; Category B £64; Category A £80
– European Rugby Challenge Cup: Category D £20; Category C £35; Category B £40; Category A £45