Heineken Cup Final Tickets
The "French Revolution" on May 22, 2010 saw the klaxons blared while the red and black Toulouse flags fluttered triumphantly around Paris's massive Stade de France as two French teams clashed in the Heineken Cup Final. Heineken Cup Final tickets disappeared off shelves as fans turned up in hordes to watch the nation's best slug it out, instilling a sense of national pride that the British teams would do well to match. The Heineken Cup Final is the championship game of the Heineken Cup (aka European Rugby Cup), Europe's premier rugby club competition involving various regional & provincial teams from six IRB countries. The nations include England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Wales & Italy. Established in 1995 on the initiative of the then Five Nations committee to give Europe's clubs a competitive playing field, the Heineken Cup's prestige is immense. And the path to Cardiff's hosting of the 2011 Heineken Cup Final will doubtless be littered with shattering blows & moments of sheer ecstasy.
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Heineken Cup Final
Europe's top two rugby club competitions are organized on the format of football's UEFA Champions League & UEFA Europa League. The Heineken Cup is the major competition, while the European Challenge Cup forms the second tier competition. Teams from the Magners League, Aviva Premiership & Top 14 are eligible for qualification to the Heineken Cup. The Magners League is a rugby union competition fielding professional sides from Ireland, Wales, Scotland & Italy. The Aviva Premiership is England's top competitive clubs' league, while the Top 14 features the finest 14 teams in the French top division. For qualification purposes, each country is allocated a number of slots to enter into the Heineken Cup. England & France enter 6 teams each, Ireland & Wales 3 each, while Scotland & Italy enter two each from their respective leagues. The remaining two spots to complete the set of 24 are awarded to the defending champions of the Heineken & European Challenge Cups. If these teams have already qualified by virtue of their league standings, then their country receives an extra berth. England & France berths are capped at seven, however, & if either country produces both winners, the next highest-ranked team not to make the cut from the other nations is allowed. Six pools of four teams each are drawn according to the ERC rankings. The teams play home & away games along with their regular league seasons, with winners awarded 4 points, 2 points for a draw, & bonus points for tries & sub-7 loss margins. The six group toppers with the top two runners-up make the quarterfinal stage. Drawn according to power ranking, the better seeded opponents play the games at their home venues. The semifinals are held at neutral venues within the competing teams' country while the finals are held at a predetermined venue. The winner of the Heineken Cup Final walks away with the trophy.
Cardiff Arms Park first hosted the inaugural Final between Toulouse & Cardiff on 6th January 1996. With Toulouse picking up the first trophy, their dominant streak has seen them win the Cup a record four times, followed by Munster, Leicester Tigers & London Wasps on 2 each. 2011 will see the Final return to Cardiff's Millennium Stadium for the first time since 2008, when Munster overwhelmed Toulouse. The Millennium Stadium boasts state-of-the-art facilities, a standing as Europe's third largest rugby stadium, a stunning capacity of 74,500 & a CV filled with successful hosting of major sporting tournaments like the 1999 Rugby World Cup & FA Cups.
Heineken, a Dutch brewing company, is the official sponsor of the European Rugby Cup. Alcohol advertising restrictions in France meant that it had to be publicized as the H-Cup for the 2010 Final in Paris. The fan base is enormous for the Celtic countries & England, & Toulouse's consistency has seen them muster great support. The 2010 Final smashed attendance records, showing more & more fans are interested in buying Heineken Cup Final tickets.
Pumping adrenaline & pulsating scrums have transformed rugby into a veritable source of entertainment. The ferocious intensity & pride at stake will blow over onto the field for all holders of Heineken Cup Final tickets to witness firsthand.
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