Cardiff to host 2011 Heineken Cup final
May 17, 2010
The 2011 Heineken Cup final will be staged in Cardiff's Millennium Stadium © Getty Images
The ERC has announced that Cardiff's Millennium Stadium will host the 2011 Heineken Cup final, while Twickenham will stage the following year's tournament decider.
"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," ERC Chief Executive Derek McGrath said.
"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, 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 final in 2000, 2004 and 2007 and we fully expect another memorable occasion in two years time."
Welsh Rugby Union Group Chief Executive Roger Lewis is delighted that the European club game's showpiece event will again be staged in the Millennium Stadium and is hoping that one of the country's regional sides will be involved.
"The decision to stage the 2011 Heineken Cup final in the Millennium Stadium is a great honour for Wales and for Welsh rugby," he said. "This event will bring tens of thousands of visiting fans into our capital and create a truly carnival atmosphere for a game which is certain to be a sell-out.
"The three finals staged at the Millennium Stadium in recent years have generated more than £50 million for the Welsh economy and the event has had a hugely beneficial financial impact on the Welsh nation.
"The Heineken Cup is now the most successful and important club rugby competition in the world game and boasts a truly international following. The tournament has captured the imagination of all true sports fans and continues to grow and develop at an impressive pace.
"All our Regions have strong links with the Heineken Cup and this announcement will give our competing Welsh teams an extra incentive to reach the final in 2011. The WRU is proud to be part of the history of this great competition and we are determined to help the ERC deliver a fantastic event in 2011."
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Rugby Football Union Management Board Martyn Thomas is excited by the prospect of the Heineken Cup final returning to Twickenham for the fourth time.
"In 15 short years the Heineken Cup has become a vivid and exhilarating part of the rugby landscape," he said. "Year on year it is becoming more competitive, more high profile and more exciting. The opportunity to host the 2012 final at Twickenham, the largest rugby stadium in the world, is a privilege and we look forward to an 82,000 full house to celebrate the best of European club rugby."
It's time for those running Welsh rugby to stop trying to prevent its players heading to France and to start planning a future without them, writes Martin Williamson
Paul Eddison explains how the French sold English clubs down the river and why their domestic game will go from strength to strength
'Nothing can prepare you for the noise of the Millennium Stadium though, you just can't hear anything." Tom Hamilton talks to Cory Allen
Following a weekend where Wales suffered more heartbreak against Australia and the Aviva Premiership showed its class, the Monday Maul looks back at some of the key talking points