Galaxy of world stars on show
Fri, 23 May 2014 10:53
The build-up to one of Europe's greatest sporting weekends is almost complete, as the clock ticks towards the Cardiff 2014 finals kick-off.
With a galaxy of international stars ready to take the stage at the atmospheric Millennium Stadium for Saturday's European Cup decider between Toulon and Saracens, and at Cardiff Arms Park for this Friday's all-English Challenge Cup confrontation featuring Bath and Northampton Saints, fans from all over Europe are flocking into the Welsh capital to savour a unique celebration of club rugby.
Both matches - which will feature players from as many as 15 nations including luminaries of the global game such as Jonny Wilkinson, George North, Matt Giteau, Schalk Brits and Bryan Habana - will be broadcast in more than 150 countries worldwide.
Reigning champions, Toulon, could become the third club after Leicester Tigers (2001 and 2002) and Leinster (2011 and 2012) to retain the European Cup.
And the brilliant Habana could go into the record books as the fourth player in history to complete the treble of World Cup, European Cup and Super Rugby titles.
Saracens, meanwhile, are appearing in a first European Final and will be looking to become the first English club to lift the coveted trophy since London Wasps triumphed in 2007.
The stakes are also high for the Challenge Cup clubs who will contest a first major rugby final on an artificial pitch.
Bath and Saints are each focused on clinching a third European title at the Arms Park, with both in line for a second Challenge Cup success.
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