7 Jun, 15:39
ERC can confirm that the Federation Française de Rugby (FFR) has withdrawn its application to host the 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals, due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the availability of the Stade de France.
Pat Howard, the Leicester Tigers Head Coach, is bidding to become the first person to win the Heineken Cup as both a player and coach. The final will be Howard's 75th in charge as Head Coach and he will be looking for his 50th win (four draws). As a player he made 96 appearances, winning 72 and drawing twice - picking up three Premiership titles, one Zurich championship and a Heineken Cup winners medal.
Alex King, London Wasps' international outside half, is bidding to become the first player from an English club aside of Leicester Tigers to make 50 Heineken Cup appearances. The seven former or current Leicester Tigers players to be on the roll of honour are Graham Rowntree (59), Martin Corry (57), Austin Healey (53), Martin Johnson (51), Ben Kay (50), Leon LLoyd (50) and Eric Miller, who made 12 of his 52 tournament appearances for the Tigers.
Austin Healey - an ambassador for the London 07 final - is the only player who has won two Heineken Cup final man-of-the-match awards, in the Tigers' back-to-back triumphs in 2001 and 2002.
This year's Leicester squad contains another Tuilagi, flying wing Alesana. If he can follow in the footsteps of his elder brother Freddy in winning the title then they will become the fifth set of brothers to taste Heineken Cup glory. Philippe and Olivier Carbonneau enjoyed success together with Toulouse in 1996, Jan and Bryn Cunningham were in the Ulster squad that triumphed in 1999, Martin and Will Johnson were in both the 2001 and 2002 Leicester Tigers teams and the Makas, Isitolo and Finau, were in the winning Toulouse side of 2005.
There are 209 players from the 11 match day 22-man squads who own Heineken Cup final winners' medals - 34 have two medals and Cedric Heymans is out on his own with three (with Brive in 1997 and Toulouse in 2003 and 2005). Among the 34 double winners and bidding to match Heymans are current Tigers squad members Martin Corry, Andy Goode, Ben Kay, Lewis Moody and Geordan Murphy.
Only three of those 34 double winners have collected medals with different clubs. As well as Heymans, Philippe Carbonneau did it with Toulouse (1996) and Brive (1997) and Federico Mendez with Bath Rugby (1998) and Northampton Saints (2000).
London Wasps players lock Tom Palmer and wing Tom Voyce have played every minute of all eight of Wasps' tournament matches this season.
This 12th final will be the 819th tournament match.
Players from 14 different nationalities are on the winners' roll of honour, headed by 64 Englishmen and the same number of Frenchmen. There are also players from Ireland (44), Scotland (nine), Wales (eight), South Africa and New Zealand (four each), Samoa and Argentina (three each), Australia (two) and one from each of Italy, USA, Canada and Poland.
A total of 563,522 fans have gone through the turnstiles for the 11 Heineken Cup finals - an average of 51,229 per match. The first final, between Cardiff and Toulouse at the old Arms Park on 6 January, 1996, attracted a crowd of 21,800.
Alan Lewis is the third Irish referee to control a final following in the footsteps of Dave McHugh (1996 and 2001) and Alain Rolland (2004). Chris White is the only referee to take charge of three finals - in 2003, 2005 and 2006.
Leicester are bidding to match Toulouse with a third Heineken Cup final triumph to go with their back-to-back victories in 2001 and 2002.
Wasps are the only club to have done the Euro double of winning the Heineken Cup (2004) and the European Challenge Cup (2003).
This is the third single nation final following strictly French affairs in 2003 (Toulouse v Perpignan) and 2005 (Toulouse v Stade Francais Paris).
The most tries scored in a final are the four by Brive when they beat Leicester Tigers 28-9 in Cardiff in 1997. The 19 points winning margin is the biggest in the 11 finals.
The most points scored in a Heineken Cup final are the 64 rattled up at Parc des Princes in 2001. The 34 scored that day by Leicester Tigers is the most scored by a team in a final and the 30 scored by Stade Francais Paris is the most scored by a losing team.
The most points scored by an individual in a final is the 30 kicked by Stade Francais Paris' Diego Dominguez (nine penalty goals and a drop goal) in the 2001 defeat by Leicester.
Two of the 11 finals have failed to produce a try - when Ulster Rugby beat Colomiers 21-6 in 1999 and when Toulouse needed extra time in the 2005 final to beat Stade Francais Paris 18-12.
Two of the finals have required extra time to determine the winner and Toulouse won on both occasions, against Cardiff in 1996 and Stade Francais Paris in 2005.
The 11 finals have produced 19 tries - an average of 1.73 per match - with two players scoring braces. Sebastien Carrat got two for Brive in the 1997 final and Leon Lloyd crossed twice for Leicester Tigers in Paris in 2001.