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									From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Heineken Cup

Heineken Cup
Heineken Cup Current season or competition: 2008-09 Heineken Cup

Sport Founded No. of teams Country(ies)

Rugby union 1995 24 England France Ireland Italy Scotland Wales Romania (1995–1996)

The tournament was launched in the European summer of 1995 on the initiative of the then Five Nations committee to provide a new level of professional cross-border competition. It is sponsored by Dutch brewing company Heineken International (it is known as H-Cup in France because of alcohol advertising restrictions). Each European nation has a different qualifying system, though in total, 24 teams contest the pool stages in six pools of four. According to performances, the number of clubs from each nation changes. The tournament is held from October to May, with various stages scheduled around domestic club competitions. The 2007–08 tournament was won by Ireland’s Munster, who beat Toulouse of France 16–13 in the final at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Toulouse have been the most successful team, winning the competition three times.


Most recent champion(s)

Munster (Ireland)

The European Rugby Cup (known as the Heineken Cup because of the tournament’s sponsorship by Heineken) is an annual rugby union competition involving leading club, regional and provincial teams from six International Rugby Board (IRB) nations in Europe: England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales. Romania competed in the first year of the competition only. The competition is organised by the European Rugby Cup, who are also responsible for the secondary championship, the European Challenge Cup. It is one of the most prestigious trophies in the sport.

Diagram showing how qualification is obtained for Heineken Cup and European Challenge Cup. The Heineken Cup is open to clubs in Magners League, Guinness Premiership, per 10 and the Top 14. Clubs that do qualify for the Heineken Cup can enter European Challenge Cup. the Sunot the


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
22 places are awarded by country, with each country deciding how to allocate their alloted places[1]: • England: 6 teams (selected by performance in Guinness Premiership and EDF Energy Cup) • France: 6 teams (selected by performance in Top 14 Championship) • Ireland: 3 teams (selected by performance in Magners League) • Wales: 3 teams (selected by performance in Magners League) • Scotland: 2 teams (selected by participation in Magners League) • Italy: 2 teams (selected by performance in Super 10 Championship) The remaining two places in the 24-team tournament are allocated as follows: • One team comes from France, England or Italy; this place is allocated to the country whose team progressed further in the previous season’s Heineken Cup.[1] For example, Leicester have progressed further in the 2008–09 competition than any French or Italian team, so there will be seven English teams in the 2009–10 competition. • The final team is the winner of a play off between the best placed team in the Magners League who has not already qualified, and the best placed semi-finalist in the Italian Super 10.[1] The play-off is a single match, which takes place alternately in Italy or the home of the Magners League side. In 2007–08, this play-off was scheduled to take place before the Italian Super 10 semi-finals, so no Italian team was nominated to take part. This meant that the Magners League nominee, the Newport Gwent Dragons, qualified without a playoff. Regardless of how well they perform domestically, the winners of the Heineken Cup and the European Challenge Cup both qualify for the next year’s Heineken Cup, and are awarded places from their countries’ allocations. The Heineken Cup is, generally speaking, the equivalent competition of the UEFA Champions League in professional football, whereas the European Challenge Cup is the equivalent to the secondary UEFA Cup. A proposal has been made that, in future, rather than Ireland, Wales and Scotland each sending their top-placed teams in the Magners League to the Heineken Cup, the top

Heineken Cup
teams from the league as a whole should be sent, regardless of nationality.[2]


The 2005–06 final at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff between Munster and Biarritz.

Pool stage
Six pools of four teams play both home and away games. Until the 2007/2008 season these pools were drawn mostly at random, with the following restrictions[3]: • Each nation nominates one of their teams as top seed; these teams are drawn in separate pools. • Each nation supplies at most one team to each pool, except where England or France supply seven teams in total; in this case, the seventh team drawn will appear in a pool with one other team from that nation. In some cases (such as for the 2007/2008 season) the unseeded Italian and Scottish teams may also deliberately be drawn in different pools. From the 2008–09 season, there is more structure to the pools. The competing 24 teams are ranked based on past performance[4] and arranged into four tiers of six teams, with the reigning champion automatically appearing in the top tier. Each pool receives one team at random from each tier; again, this is subject to the restriction that each pool cannot contain more than one team from each competing nation, except where France or England supply seven teams. Four points are awarded for a win and two points for a draw. A bonus point is awarded for a loss by seven points or fewer, or for scoring four tries or more. The six pool winners (ranked 1–6 by number of points scored) and two best placed runners-up (ranked


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
seven and eight) qualify for the quarter-finals. Teams ranked one to four have home advantage.

Heineken Cup
Twelve sides representing Ireland, Wales, Italy, Romania and France competed in four pools of three with the group winners going directly into the semi-finals.[11] English and Scottish teams did not take part in the inaugural competition.[12] From an inauspicious beginning in Romania, where Toulouse defeated Farul Constanţa 54–10 in front of a small crowd, the competition gathered momentum and crowds grew. Toulouse went on to become the first European cup winners, eventually beating Cardiff in extra time in front of a crowd of 21,800 at Cardiff Arms Park.[11] Clubs from England and Scotland joined the competition in 1996–97.[13] European rugby was further expanded with the advent of the European Challenge Cup for teams that did not qualify for the Heineken Cup. The Heineken Cup now had 20 teams divided into four pools of five.[14] Only Leicester and Brive reached the knock-out stages with 100 per cent records and ultimately made it to the final, Cardiff and Toulouse falling in the semi-finals. After 46 matches, Brive beat Leicester 28–9 in front of a crowd of 41,664 at Cardiff Arms Park, the match watched by an estimated television audience of 35 million in 86 countries.[14] 1997–98 saw the introduction of a home and away format in the pool games.[15] The five pools of four teams, which guaranteed each team a minimum of six games, and the three quarter-final play-off matches all added up to a 70-match tournament. Brive reached the final again but were beaten late in the game by Bath with a penalty kick. Ironically, English clubs had decided to withdraw from the competition in a dispute over the way it was run.[12] Without English clubs, the 1998–99 tournament revolved around France, Italy and the Celtic nations. Sixteen teams took part in four pools of four, with Ulster invited into the competition to even up the numbers. French clubs filled the top positions in three of the groups and for the fourth consecutive year a French club, in the shape of Colomiers from the Toulouse suburbs, reached the final. Despite this it was to be Ulster’s year as they beat Toulouse (twice) and reigning French champions Stade Français on their way to the final at Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Ulster then carried home the trophy after a 21–6 win over Colmiers in front of a capacity 49,000 crowd.[15]

Knock-out stage
The quarter-finals are: team 1 v team 8; team 2 v team 7; team 3 v team 6; team 4 v team 5. The quarter-finals are played at the home stadiums of the higher-seeded clubs, or sometimes at a larger stadium in or near the host team’s city. The semi-finals, on the other hand, are always played at nominally neutral venues. Each of the two semi-final venues are in the country of the first team out of the hat when the draw is made. For example, in 2004, Munster v Wasps was played at Lansdowne Road in Dublin, while Toulouse v Biarritz was played in Bordeaux.[5] However, the neutrality requirement is satisfied simply by the designated home team playing outside of its normal stadium. Both 2005 semi-finals were held in the host’s home city; Leicester Tigers v Toulouse was held at Walkers Stadium in Leicester, not far from Leicester’s normal home of Welford Road,[6] while Stade Français v Biarritz was played at Parc des Princes in Paris, across the street from Stade’s normal home field. The semifinal venue must also meet the following additional criteria; it must have a capacity of at least 20,000[7] and it must be in the same country as the designated home team. However, the European Rugby Cup, which organises the competition, may allow exceptions, such as with Biarritz, located in a city less than 20km from the Spanish border, being allowed to host their 2006 semi-final across the border at Estadio Anoeta in Donostia-San Sebastián (which is the nearest stadium to Biarritz with a suitable capacity).[8] A similar exception was made for Bourgoin when they hosted Munster in Switzerland at Stade de Genève, Geneva. The final is held at a predetermined site.[9]

Finals History
The Heineken Cup was launched in the summer of 1995 on the initiative of the then Five Nations Committee to provide a new level of professional cross border competition.[10]


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Season 1995–96

Heineken Cup
Venue Attendance

Winner Toulouse Brive Bath Ulster (Ireland) Northampton Saints Leicester Tigers Leicester Tigers Toulouse London Wasps Toulouse

Score 21 – 18

Runner-up Cardiff Leicester Tigers Brive Colomiers Munster (Ireland)

Cardiff Arms Park, 21,800 Cardiff Cardiff Arms Park, 41,664 Cardiff Stade Lescure, Bordeaux Lansdowne Road, Dublin Twickenham, London 36,500 49,000 68,441 44,000 74,000


28 – 9 19 – 18 21 – 6 9–8 34 – 30 15 – 9





Stade Français Parc des Princes, Paris Munster (Ireland) Millennium Stadium, Cardiff Lansdowne Road, Dublin Twickenham, London



22 – 17 27 – 20 18 – 12

Perpignan Toulouse

28,600 73,057 51,326 74,534



Stade Français Murrayfield, Edinburgh Biarritz Millennium Stadium, Cardiff Twickenham, London Millennium Stadium, Cardiff Murrayfield, Edinburgh


Munster (Ireland) 23 – 19


London Wasps

25 – 9

Leicester Tigers Toulouse

81,076 74,417


Munster (Ireland) 16 – 13



English clubs returned in 1999–2000. The pool stages were spread over three months to allow the competition to develop alongside the nations’ own domestic competitions, and the knockout stages were scheduled to take the tournament into the early spring. For the first time clubs from four different nations – England, Ireland, France and Wales – made it through to the semi-finals. Munster’s defeat of Toulouse in Bordeaux ended France’s record of having contested every final and Northampton Saints’ victory over Llanelli made them the third English club to make it to the final. The competition was decided with a final between Munster and Northampton, with Northampton coming out on top by

a single point to claim their first major honour.[13] England supplied two of the 2000–01 semi-finalists – Leicester Tigers and Gloucester – with Munster and French champions Stade Francais also reaching the last four. Both semi-finals were close, Munster going down by a point 16–15 to Stade Français in Lille and the Tigers beating Gloucester 19–15 at Vicarage Road, Watford. The final, at Parc des Princes, Paris, attracted a crowd of 44,000 and the result was in the balance right up until the final whistle, but Leicester walked off 34–30 winners. Munster reached the 2001–02 final with quarter-final and semi-final victories on French soil against Stade Francais and


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Castres. Leicester pipped Llanelli in the last four, after the Scarlets had halted Leicester’s 11-match Heineken Cup winning streak in the pool stages. A record crowd saw Leicester become the first side to successfully defend their title.[10] From 2002, the European Challenge Cup winner now automatically qualified for the Heineken Cup. Toulouse’s victory over French rivals Perpignan in 2003 meant that they joined Leicester as the only teams to win the title twice.[10] Toulouse saw a 19-point half-time lead whittled away as the Catalans staged a dramatic comeback in a match in which the strong wind and showers played a major role, but Toulouse survived to win. In 2003–04 the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) voted to create regions to play in the Celtic League and represent Wales in European competition. Henceforth, Wales entered regional sides rather than the club sides that had previously competed. English side London Wasps had earned their first final appearance by beating Munster 37–32 in a Dublin semi-final while Toulouse triumphed 19–11 in an all-French contest with Biarritz in a packed Chaban Delmas, Bordeaux. The 2004 final at Twickenham saw Wasps defeat defending champions Toulouse 27–20 at Twickenham to win the Heineken Cup for the first time. The match was widely hailed as one of the best finals. With extra time looming at 20–20, a late opportunist try by scrum half Rob Howley settled the contest.

Heineken Cup
stars Stade Français when Murrayfield was the first Scottish venue to host the final.[16] Fabien Galthié’s Paris side led until two minutes from the end of normal time before Frédéric Michalak levelled the contest for Toulouse with his first penalty strike. He repeated this in the initial stages of extra time and then sealed his side’s success with a superb opportunist drop-goal. Toulouse became the first team to win three Heineken Cup titles.[16] In 2006, Munster defeated Biarritz in the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, 23–19.[17] It was third time lucky for the Irish provincial side, who had previously been denied the ultimate prize twice by Northampton and Leicester. South African Trevor Halstead and man of the match Peter Stringer scored Munster’s two tries, having gone behind early in the first half to a try by Biarritz’s Fijian winger, Sireli Bobo. French international Dimitri Yachvili kept the side from the Basque country in contention with a 100% goal kicking record, but it was Irish international Ronan O’Gara who kicked the most important penalty goal to stretch Munster’s lead to 4 points with under 10 minutes of the game left. Despite pressure from Biarritz, Munster held on and a penalty awarded by referee Chris White against Yachvili for being offside at the scrum ended the 2005–06 French champions’ hopes of a double. Stringer kicked the ball out into touch to spark mass celebrations inside the stadium and in Limerick. The 2006–07 Heineken Cup would be distributed to over 100 countries following Pitch International’s securing of the rights.[18] That season was the first time in the history of the competition that two teams went unbeaten in pool play, with both Llanelli Scarlets and Biarritz doing so. Biarritz went into their final match at Northampton Saints with a chance to become the first team ever to score bonus-point wins in all their pool matches, but were only able to score two of the four tries needed. Leicester defeated Llanelli Scarlets to move into the final at Twickenham, with the possibility of winning a Treble of championships on the cards, having already won the EDF Energy Cup and the Guinness Premiership. However, Wasps won the final 25 points to 9 in front of a tournament record 81,076 fans.[19] During competition there was uncertainty over the future of the tournament after the 2006–07 season as French clubs had


Munster fans watch their team on a jumbo screen on the streets of Limerick. Munster won the 2005–06 Cup and were runners-up twice before. The tenth Heineken Cup final saw the inaugural champions Toulouse battle with rising


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Nation Winners Runners- Winning clubs up 6 England 4 France Ireland Wales Team Toulouse Munster (Ireland) Leicester Tigers London Wasps Brive Bath Northampton Saints Ulster (Ireland) Stade Français Biarritz Cardiff Colomiers Perpignan Winners Runnersup 3 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 2 0 1 0 0 0 2 1 1 1 1 Years won 1995–96, 2002–03, 2004–05 2005–06, 2007–08 2000–01, 2001–02 2003–04, 2006–07 1996–97 1997–98 1999–2000 1998–99 3 0 2 1 Munster (2), Ulster 8 2 Leicester Tigers (2), London Wasps (2), Bath, Northampton Saints Toulouse (3), Brive Runners-up

Heineken Cup

Leicester Tigers (2)

Stade Français (2), Toulouse (2), Biarritz, Brive, Colomiers, Perpignan Munster (2) Cardiff

Years losing finalist 2003–04, 2007–08 1999–2000, 2001–02 1996–97, 2006–07 1997–98

2000–01, 2004–05 2005–06 1995–96 1998–99 2002–03

announced that they would not take part because of fixture congestion following the Rugby World Cup and an ongoing dispute between English clubs and the RFU.[20][21] It was speculated that league two teams might compete the next season, the RFU saying "If this situation is not resolved, the RFU owes it to the sport to keep this competition going...We have spoken to our FDR clubs, and if they want to compete we will support them.".[22] A subsequent meeting led to the announcement that the tournament would be played in 2007–08, with clubs from all the six nations. On May 20th it was announced that both French and English top-tier teams would be competing [23]

By nation By club By player Attendance

See also
Heineken Cup finals European Challenge Cup Guinness Premiership (England) Magners League (Ireland, Scotland, Wales) • Top 14 (France) • Super 10 (Italy) • • • •

Records and statistics

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
All-time top point scorers Player Ronan O’Gara Stephen Jones Diego Dominguez David Humphreys Neil Jenkins Felipe Contepomi Lee Jarvis Andy Goode Dimitri Yachvili Jean-Baptiste Elissalde Club Munster Scarlets Stade Français Ulster Cardiff Leinster Newport Gwent Dragons Leicester Tigers Biarritz Toulouse Appearances Player John Hayes Anthony Foley Ronan O’Gara Peter Stringer Fabien Pelous David Wallace Martyn Williams Marcus Horan Martin Corry Shane Horgan Club Munster Munster Munster Munster Toulouse Munster Cardiff Munster Leicester Tigers Leinster

Heineken Cup

Points 1034 759 645 564 502 418 411 406 404 398

Games 87 86 83 80 79 71 70 70 69 69

1995–96 1996–97 1997–98 1998–99 1999–2000 2000–01 2001–02 2002–03 2003–04 200 6,502 Per match 6,765 6,613 5,860 7,924 8,187 8,308 8,921 10,352


[1] ^ "Heineken Cup – Key Tournament Rules". European Rugby Cup. http://www.ercrugby.com/eng/ 31_264.php. Retrieved on 12 January 2008. [2] "Scots approach Welsh proposal with caution". Telegraph.co.uk. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/ rugbyunion/club/2707620/Scotsapproach-Welsh-proposal-with-caution--Rugby-Union.html. Retrieved on 11 August 2008. [3] "Biarritz Olympique Secure French Top Seed with Championship Win". ERC Rugby. 12 June 2006. http://www.ercrugby.com/eng/ [4]




5018_5461.php. Retrieved on 6 May 2008. "New European ranking to be introduced next season". ERC Rugby. 27 March 2008. http://www.ercrugby.com/eng/ 12_9903.php. Retrieved on 2 April 2008. "Heineken Cup Semi Final Referees.". BBC. 16 April 2004. http://www.irishrugby.ie/6855_3562.php. Retrieved on 21 March 2007. "Leicester 19-27 Toulouse". BBC. 24 April 2006. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/ hi/rugby_union/european/4469813.stm. Retrieved on 21 March 2007. "Heineken Cup Semi Final Venues". Irish Rugby Football Union. 7 February 2002. http://www.irishrugby.ie/


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Heineken Cup

6855_1258.php?PHPSESSID=ee22249a3978865a367d95d0cb40. 4559935.stm. Retrieved on 21 March Retrieved on 21 March 2007. 2007. [8] "Munster To Reign In Spain?". Irish [17] "Munster 23-19 Biarritz". BBC. 20 May Rugby Football Union. 18 February 2006. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/ 2005. http://www.irishrugby.ie/ rugby_union/european/4998452.stm. 6855_4272.php?PHPSESSID=ee22249a3978865a367d95d0cb40.March 2007. Retrieved on 21 Retrieved on 21 March 2007. [18] "2006-07 Heineken Cup delivered to over [9] "Munster to take on Bourgoin in 100 countries". Sport Business. 31 Geneva". RTÉ Sport. 20 November 2006. October 2006. http://www.ercrugby.com/ http://www.rte.ie/sport/2006/1120/ eng/82_116.php. Retrieved on 21 March munster.html. Retrieved on 21 March 2007. 2007. [19] "Waspss crowned club champions in [10] ^ "European Rugby Cup : History". ERC. front of world record crowd". ERC. 20 http://www.ercrugby.com/eng/ May 2007. http://www.ercrugby.com/ 37_74.php. Retrieved on 21 March 2007. eng/12_6932.php. Retrieved on 15 June [11] ^ "European Rugby Cup : Heineken Cup 2007. History 1995/96". ERC. [20] "French clubs to quit Heineken Cup". http://www.ercrugby.com/eng/ BBC. 17 January 2007. 79_119.php. Retrieved on 21 March http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/ 2007. rugby_union/6269979.stm. Retrieved on [12] ^ Paul Rees (30 March 2006). "Big boys 17 January 2007. plan for more lucrative Heineken Cup". [21] "French blame RFU for Heineken Cup Guardian Unlimited. boycott". RTÉ Sport. 17 January 2007. http://sport.guardian.co.uk/rugbyunion/ http://www.rte.ie/sport/2007/0117/ story/0,,1742370,00.html. Retrieved on heinekencup.html. Retrieved on 17 21 March 2007. January 2007. [13] ^ "A history of the Heineken Cup". [22] Stephen Jones (9 April 2007). "Low Nobok. http://www.nobok.co.uk/page/ division likely to fill Europe spots". RTD/0,,10301~786296,00.html. Australian. Retrieved on 1 April 2007. http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/ [14] ^ "European Rugby Cup : Heineken Cup story/0,20867,21523602-2722,00.html. History 1996/97". ERC. Retrieved on 9 April 2007. http://www.ercrugby.com/eng/ [23] "ERC Press Statement". ERC. 80_118.php. Retrieved on 21 March http://www.ercrugby.com/eng/ 2007. 12_7033.php. Retrieved on 20 May [15] ^ "European Rugby Cup : Heineken Cup 2007. History 1997/98". ERC. http://www.ercrugby.com/eng/ 81_117.php. Retrieved on 21 March • ERC Rugby Official website of the 2007. Heineken Cup and European Challenge [16] ^ "Stade Francais 12-18 Toulouse". BBC. Cup 22 May 2005. http://news.bbc.co.uk/ sport2/hi/rugby_union/european/

External links

Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heineken_Cup" Categories: European Rugby Cup, Heineken This page was last modified on 17 May 2009, at 13:30 (UTC). All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. (See Copyrights for details.) Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a U.S. registered 501(c)(3) taxdeductible nonprofit charity. Privacy policy About Wikipedia Disclaimers


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