THE RDS WILL host another Celtic League final this month when Leinster meet the Ospreys in the Pro12 decider, but next year the old ground will host a European final.
Today it has been announced that the Amlin Challenge Cup final will be held in the Dublin 4 venue next season.
Europe’s second tier competition has become a prelude to the Heineken Cup final in recent seasons.
This will be the third consecutive occasion that the final has been arranged to be played on the night before the Heineken decider at a different venue in the same city.
This week, the Stoop will host Toulon and Biarritz a day before Ulster face off against Leinster. In last year’s final, Harlequins defeated Stade Francais in the Cardiff City Stadium before Leinster went onto produce a thrilling comeback win over Northampton at the Millennium Stadium.
Next season, when Europe’s top-tier final will be in the Aviva Stadium, the Amlin will be a short walk away at the Ballsbridge venue.
In a statement, ERC chief executive,Derek McGrath said about the award: “The decision of the ERC Board to stage both the Heineken Cup and the Amlin Challenge Cup finals in Dublin reflects the hugely positive impact Irish clubs and fans have had on European club rugby.”
Meanwhile, minister for transport, tourism and sport, Leo Varadkar highlighted the positive effect which a European finals weekend could have during The Gathering:
“I’m really looking forward to Dublin being transformed into the European Capital of Rugby next year.” Said Varadkar.
“Only last week we officially launched the Gathering Ireland 2013, which encourages everyone with an Irish connection to return home next year. I believe next year’s Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup Final will provide a real festival feel during The Gathering.”