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London hosts the best teams in European Rugby as the Amlin Challenge Cup Final returns

London continues to raise the bar for sporting events in 2012 as the Amlin Challenge Cup Final is confirmed to return to the capital.

Tournament organisers ERC announced this week that the Amlin Challenge Cup’s showpiece game will take place at the Twickenham Stoop on Friday 18th May 2012 kicking off a unique weekend festival of European Club rugby in the English capital which culminates the following day (Saturday 19th May 2012) with the Heineken Cup Final at nearby Twickenham Stadium.

Staging two of the most esteemed events on the rugby calendar around the ‘home of English rugby’ on consecutive days provides the opportunity for fans of a weekend rugby marathon as well as an exciting buzz in the capital for supporters, visitors and residents alike. As with major sporting events such as the UEFA Champions League Final in May 2011, the two-day sporting spectacular is predicted to provide a healthy boost to the economy. It is anticipated that London will exceed the total economic benefit of the £24.1million that the combined events brought to Cardiff in 2011.

As well as enhancing an already rich rugby programme for 2012, the Amlin Challenge Cup serves as the latest addition to a long list of prominent sporting events planned for London throughout the year. Looking ahead beyond the Olympic and Paralympic Games, a lasting legacy is already being created for the future of world-class sporting events in the capital. Fresh from securing the 2017 World Athletics Championships in November 2011, high profile sporting events in the pipeline for London include the 2013 UEFA Champions League Final, the 2013 ITU World Championship Series Triathlon Grand Final and the 2015 Canoe Slalom World Championships.

Iain Edmondson, Head of Major Events at London & Partners said;

“With such a packed programme of sporting events for London throughout 2012 there really is no better time to visit the capital. The Amlin Challenge Cup Final complimenting the Heineken Cup Final at Twickenham in May, provides the ultimate weekend rugby showdown that will set the capital buzzing ahead of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in the summer. At London & Partners, we are committed to securing major events for the city both now and beyond 2012 - the Amlin Challenge Cup and Heineken Cup Finals reaffirm London’s position as the number one destination for major sporting events.”

The Amlin Challenge Cup has seen significant growth in recent years with the support of title sponsors, Amlin, the introduction of Thursday evening games, and a wider broadcast platform. The qualification of three Heineken Cup clubs for the quarter-final stages has also boosted the tournament’s profile, and Harlequins’ last-gasp triumph over Stade Francais in the 2011 final booked the current English Premiership leaders a place in this season’s Heineken Cup.

This will be the fourth time that the Twickenham Stoop has hosted the Amlin Challenge Cup final, with Gloucester Rugby in 2006, ASM Clermont Auvergne a year later, and Northampton Saints in 2009 lifting the trophy at the atmospheric west London venue.

Derek McGrath, ERC chief executive said;

“Supporters of the club game in Europe will have the opportunity to experience two compelling rugby occasions in the same area of London in the space of 24 hours. Following on from the success of last season when both finals were staged in Cardiff, this will be another celebration of European club rugby with four elite teams including numerous world-class players battling for silverware in two Twickenham stadiums which are less than a mile apart.”

Tickets go on sale for the 2012 Amlin Challenge Cup final today at £25, £35, £45, and £80 for a group of four people. For supporters who have already bought Heineken Cup final tickets, a £10 discount is available on best category £35 and £45 Amlin Challenge Cup final tickets. This offer is for a limited time only.

To buy tickets and for more information, visit www.ercrugby.com and www.ticketmaster.co.uk

HEINEKEN CUP FINAL  Twickenham Stadium  – Saturday, 19 May 2012 (5.00pm)

AMLIN CHALLENGE CUP FINAL  Twickenham Stoop – Friday, 18 May 2012 (8.00pm)

ENDS

Notes to Editors

About London & Partners

London & Partners is the official promotional organisation for London. We attract and deliver value to business, students and visitors. London & Partners is a not-for-profit organisation, funded by the Mayor of London and a network of commercial partners.

Our remit is to drive leisure and business visitors as well as bidding to secure major events in London, to unlock the city for overseas businesses who want to set up or expand in London and to promote the capital’s world class universities to international students.

Our intention is to work in partnership with organisations in London and across the world to deliver our goal - that London be globally recognised as the best big city on earth.

For more information visit www.londonandpartners.com

Contact

Chloe Couchman - Head of Communications – Business & Major Events

T: +44 (0)207 2345727

M: +44 (0)7764 633071

www.londonandpartners.com