Highs and lows of Heineken Cup 2007-08
November 4, 2007
Gareth Llewellyn, Bristol Rugby's international second row, will be 38 years and 257 days "young" when the club mark their return to the Heineken Cup with their Round 1 match against Cardiff Blues at the Arms Park on Sunday, 11 November.
The former Wales captain will be the oldest player in the 13th season of the Heineken Cup with - entirely appropriately - Leicester Tigers' scrum half Ben Youngs the youngest at just 18 years and 62 days when the Tigers launch their challenge against Leinster in Dublin on the opening Saturday.
And while there is close to a 20-year age gap between Llewellyn and Youngs - with Youngs less than two months old when Llewellyn made his Test debut - there is also a massive 70kgs difference between Biarritz Olympique and Tonga prop Mosese Moala and Stade Français Paris' scrum half Terry Bouhraoua
Oldest: Gareth Llewellyn (Bristol Rugby) - DoB: 27/02/1969
Elsewhere, three people bind the 13 Heineken Cup tournaments together - Anthony Foley, Guy Noves and Alain Rolland.
Munster legend Foley - who led the province to Heineken Cup final glory in Cardiff in 2006 - is the only player to have been selected for matches in all 12 seasons so far and is in the Munster squad again, hoping to add to his record 79 Heineken Cup appearances.
Toulouse coaching guru Noves - who has already guided the French giants to three titles - can boast six more tournament "appearances" than Foley having coached the club in all of their 85 tournament matches.
Next in line to Noves in the coaching hierarchy is former Scarlets and Wales coach Gareth Jenkins with 67 matches. Munster's Declan Kidney has 62 matches under his belt with Munster and Leinster while Biarritz Olympique's Patrice Lagisquet has been in charge of all 52 of their Heineken Cup matches.
RWC 2007 final referee Rolland was a player with Leinster in the first two seasons of the tournament, playing scrum half in one of the inaugural semi-finals among his five appearances. Now he is in fourth spot of the referees' tournament appointments with 35 matches since he took his Heineken Cup referee's bow in the match between Toulouse and Saracens in 2000.
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