Millennium Stadium set to host Heineken Cup finale
July 13, 2013
The Millennium Stadium last played host to European club rugby's showpiece event in 2011 © PA Photos
The Millennium Stadium looks set to be confirmed as the venue for the 2013-14 Heineken Cup final this week.
The Welsh Rugby Union have called a press conference for Wednesday morning when officials are expected to confirm that the iconic Cardiff venue will play host to European club rugby's showpiece event for the fifth time and the first time since the 2010-11 finale that saw Leinster beat Northampton.
It is also expected that Cardiff Blues' Arms Park home, that hosted the first two Heineken Cup finals, will be named as the venue for the Amlin Challenge Cup final. Such a move will see the first European club rugby final staged on an artificial pitch with the Blues currently installing a new hi-tech surface that will be ready for the start of the new RaboDirect PRO12 season.
European Rugby Cup Ltd, the organisers of both competitions, were forced to look for a new venue for both finals after the French Rugby Federation withdrew their offer to stage it due to concerns about the availability of the Stade de France in Paris. England and Scotland joined Wales in submitting proposals to host the games - scheduled for May 23 and May 24 - but it appears the Welsh Rugby Union have got the nod.
At the time of their bid, WRU chief Roger Lewis previously said: "We have a great history of European Cup finals within our capital city. We've held six so far, more than any other capital across Europe, and I'll be working with the Welsh Government with Cardiff City council to ensure we put forward the best bid possible to bring the European Cup to Wales next year."
Chief executive Richard Holland said: "We have put our proposal in and I am confident we have done all we can to give ourselves the best crack. We will leave the decision with ERC. As a rugby venue, I would like to think they will choose to keep the benefit in rugby.
"We have done all we can to put our bid together and we are hoping for the right result. Our current capacity is 12,500, but if we put a temporary stand in we can add another 2,000 potentially."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
"The only thing that will stop this England team from becoming a great team is themselves. They need to ask themselves 'what can we be?'" The Phil Vickery column
The latest Monday Maul looks at the hectic final weekend, the Lions hangover, the superb Mike Brown and the 'selfie'
"At the crux of this England team is a lack of fear, they are not afraid to throw playbooks out of the window." Tom Hamilton reports from Twickenham
"These little deft touches, the nuances O'Driscoll has perfected are what Ireland will miss most." Tom Hamilton on Brian O'Driscoll's final Test in Dublin