As the climax to the rugby season, the Heineken Cup final takes some beating. It’s a chance for the dominant teams of Europe to win the ultimate bragging rights, making it a point of pride for clubs, players and their fans. But there’s a lot of rugby to be played before the showdown in early summer. Prepare to follow your club through the group stages, the knockout rounds and – who knows? – into the final, played on one of European rugby’s biggest stages. Read on to find out more about Heineken Cup Tickets with StubHub!.
Heineken Cup - background and history
A showcase of European rugby’s top talents since 1995, the Heineken Cup brings together the leading sides from the English Premiership, France’s Top 14, and the Welsh, Irish, Scottish and Italian teams from the Pro12. For many club greats, this may be a once-in-a-career chance to wear their team colours in one of the iconic rugby arenas. In previous years, the Stade de France, Murrayfield, the Millennium Stadium and Twickenham, the home of rugby, have all provided a memorable backdrop to the final.
It's a mark of strength of the competition that few teams have ever retained the trophy, let alone established a dominant dynasty of success. Leicester Tigers hold a special place in the tournament’s history as its first back-to-back winners between 2000 and 2002. Leinster, under captain Leo Cullen, have matched their achievement with emphatic victory over Ulster in 2012, while Toulon went one better between 2013 and 2015, led to their first two trophies by their iconic captain Johnny Wilkinson.
Few matches can equal the 2001 final that saw Leicester travel to Paris to face Stade Français. As so often, the Argentine fly-half Diego Dominguez produced a commanding kicking display: nine penalties and – with three minutes remaining – a drop goal that seemed to have won the game. In the 79th minute, a scintillating break from Leicester's Austin Healey released Leon Lloyd for the winning try.
More late drama was to follow in 2004, this time on English soil. Lawrence Dallaglio’s Wasps side had fought their way back into the Twickenham final against holders Toulouse, considered by many to be the form team in Europe. A last-gasp try by Welsh scrum-half Rob Howley was enough to give Wasps their first Heineken Cup silverware, only for Toulouse to reclaim their crown the following year.
Similar rugby tickets
See rugby's global stars in the black-and-white of the Barbarians. Or experience the free-scoring excitement of Sevens rugby?