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Aviva Stadium to host 2023 Champions Cup and Challenge Cup finals

The finals were originally scheduled to be staged at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.

The Aviva Stadium will host the 2023 Champions Cup and Challenge Cup finals.
The Aviva Stadium will host the 2023 Champions Cup and Challenge Cup finals.
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

DUBLIN’S AVIVA STADIUM will host the 2023 Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup finals, European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) have confirmed.

It will be the third time the Aviva Stadium has hosted the finals, and the first since 2013, when Toulon beat Clermont Auvergne to claim their first Heineken Cup title.

The first Heineken Cup final played in Ireland saw Ulster beat Colomiers 21-6 at the old Lansdowne Road in 1999. The final returned to Lansdowne in 2003, where Toulouse beat Perpignan 22-17, while the RDS Arena hosted Leinster’s 34-13 Challenge Cup win over Stade Francais in 2013.

The 2023 finals had been originally scheduled for the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. However the finals have now been moved due to the Premier League concluding later than usual in light of the 2022 Fifa World Cup taking place in November and December, along with the impact of next year’s Rugby World Cup 2023 on the EPCR calendar.

The 2023 Champions Cup final will be played on Saturday, 20 May, with the Challenge Cup final in its usual Friday night slot on 19 May.

To date, six countries – England, France, Ireland, Scotland, Spain and Wales – have staged European club finals, with next weekend’s deciders taking place at Marseille’s Stade Vélodrome.

Dominic McKay, EPCR Chairman, said: “Following extensive discussions with all stakeholders, including the Aviva Stadium, Dublin City Council and the IRFU, we are delighted to be bringing the Heineken Champions Cup and EPCR Challenge Cup Finals back to Dublin next May.

“The ground has a strong association with EPCR, having staged three finals over the years, and we are very much looking forward to returning to Dublin.

“We are very happy to continue working with Tottenham Hotspur to stage our finals there soon. It is a sensational stadium with a burgeoning history of hosting rugby matches.

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“In the meantime, it is exciting to be returning to a rugby heartland at the Aviva Stadium, and we look forward to welcoming fans, clubs, players and stakeholders to what promises to be an outstanding weekend in May next year.”

Kevin Potts, IRFU Chief Executive, added: “It is an exciting prospect to have the opportunity of hosting the pinnacle of European club rugby at the home of Irish rugby. Hopefully, we will have at least one Irish team involved in the final stages of what will be a true celebration of European club rugby, stamped with the unique atmosphere that Irish supporters inevitably bring to the culmination of these major European competitions.

“Whatever the ultimate line-up, all in Irish rugby look forward to extending a warm welcome to supporters from across Europe to Dublin for what promises to be a thrilling rugby occasion.”

Ticket sales for both games open tomorrow through a priority widow, which fans can register for by signing up to EPCR’s newsletter, which can be found here.

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Ciarán Kennedy

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