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Friday, 17 May 2013

Heineken Cup Final 2013 Latest news, Lansdowne Hotel ballsbridge

Heineken Cup Final 2013 Latest news, Lansdowne Hotel ballsbridge

The Gathering 2013 is happening right NOW at the Lansdowne Hotel, Yes, The Rugby Clan has Gathered to honour some of the finest sports people in the world

The Gathering 2013 qui se passe actuellement à l'Hôtel Lansdowne, oui, le clan Rugby a rassemblé à l'honneur quelques-uns des plus beaux les sportifs dans le monde

We promised You a Party…we are set-up…we are ready…are You ready to party? The Lansdowne Bar TEAM are simply the BEST…

BBQ Right Now…

Christy Moore Tribute in the Bar Tonight - Marquees up and BBQ on…

Eight British players will be involved as Clermont Auvergne and Toulon bid to succeed Leinster as Heineken Cup holders in Dublin on Saturday.

Jonny Wilkinson leads Toulon with fellow Englishmen Delon Armitage, Andrew Sheridan and Nick Kennedy in the starting line-up at the Aviva Stadium.

Toulon also have Steffon Armitage and Wales' Gethin Jenkins on the bench.

Wales' Lee Byrne is at full-back for Clermont while former Scotland lock Nathan Hines also starts the match.

“To get a shot at something like this at this stage of my career for the first time is amazing”
Jonny Wilkinson

Clermont, who topped the French Top 14 after the regular season by a point from Toulon, also include former All Blacks wing Sitiveni Sivivatu, Fijian flyer Napolioni Nalaga and seven French internationals including star centre Wesley Fofana and goal-kicking scrum-half Morgan Parra.
Toulon's star-studded side features former Wallaby pivot Matt Giteau, ex-Springboks Bakkies Botha and Danie Rossouw, former All Blacks prop Carl Hayman and Argentine back-rower Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, plus four French internationals including powerhouse centre Mathieu Bastareaud.

Wilkinson, who turns 34 on 25 May, is among five players nominated for this year's European Player of the Year award.

Despite his four Six Nations titles, including one Grand Slam, and World Cup glory with England in 2003, Saturday could bring only the third club trophy of his 16-year career, having won a league title and domestic cup with Newcastle.

"Where I stand now it's all I've got to play for, so that gives you a fair idea of the importance of it to me," he said.

Clermont full-back Lee Byrne could become the ninth Welshman to win a Heineken Cup

"Rugby for me is becoming a one-game-at-a-time situation, so every game is hugely important. 

To actually get a shot at something like this at this stage of my career for the first time is amazing.

"It's a case of day by day just realising how fortunate you are to be within a group that can provide you with that opportunity and just to try to make the most of it.

"It's all I've got to play for now in my career and therefore it's the biggest thing for me."

Neither Clermont nor Toulon have won a European trophy, Toulon having lost the second-tier Challenge Cup final twice in the last three years.

Clermont came agonisingly close to reaching last year's final, having l ost out at the death to Leinster in a thrilling semi-final in Bordeaux.

Coach Vern Cotter admits the pain of that defeat has been a driving force for his players as they aim to become only the third French side - after four-time champions Toulouse and Brive - to win the Heineken Cup.

"All experiences in sport are important, even the ones you lose - they drive you and motivate you," said the New Zealander.

"Losing here [in Dublin] to Leinster by 20 points, losing at [Munster's] Thomond Park by 30 points, were all part of our apprenticeship in this competition. Then we got closer and closer and games like last year's semi-final form the character of teams.

"If we win on Saturday we will get a reward for all the hard work and the objectives we set nine months ago as a group. It would be very satisfying."

Clermont Auvergne: Lee Byrne; Sitiveni Sivivatu, Aurelien Rougerie (capt), Wesley Fofana, Napolioni Nalaga; Brock James, Morgan Parra; Thomas Domingo, Benjamin Kayser, Davit Zirakashvili, Jamie Cudmore, Nathan Hines, Julien Bonnaire, Gerhard Vosloo, Damien Chouly.
Replacements: Ti'I Paulo, Vincent Debaty, Clement Ric, Julien Pierre, Julien Bardy, Ludovic Radosavljevic, David Skrela, Regan King.

Toulon: Delon Armitage; Rudi Wulf, Mathieu Bastareaud, Matt Giteau, Alexis Palisson; Jonny Wilkinson (capt), Sebastien Tillous-Borde; Andrew Sheridan, Sebastien Bruno, Carl Hayman, Bakkies Botha, Nick Kennedy, Danie Rossouw, Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, Chris Masoe.
Replacements: Jean Charles Orioli, Gethin Jenkins, Davit Kubriashvili, Joe Van Niekerk, Steffon Armitage, Maxime Mermoz, Frederic Michalak, Jocelino Suta.

Referee: Alain Rolland (Ire),
Assistant ref: Wayne Barnes (Eng)
Assistant ref: George Clancy (Ire)
TMO: Marshall Kilgore (Ire)
Citing commissioner: Murray Whyte (Ire)