18 May, 15:44
It's down to the wire now for the five contenders who have been shortlisted for the ultimate individual accolade in northern hemisphere rugby, ERC European Player of the Year 2013.
Join the celebrations at the ERC European Champions Village
Ten years after a Heineken Cup decider was staged in Dublin, ERC's European club rugby finals are back in the Irish capital bigger and better than ever with more than 70,000 fans set to converge on the city.
For supporters of all rugby colour and creed who want to savour the unique atmosphere of a major European rugby occasion. ERC has created a European Champions Village which will be situated on Dublin's historic Merrion Square a short walk from the Aviva Stadium.
The ERC European Champions Village, which opens at midday on Heineken Cup Final match day, will provide the ideal focal point for a pre-match and post-match gathering of fans with live music from Keywest and The LOLS as well as Los Mokos from the Basque region of south-west France.
A big screen will broadcast the Heineken Cup Final live, courtesy of Sky Sports, and there will be the opportunity for supporters to have their photo taken with the trophy and to purchase official adidas Heineken Cup Final and club merchandise.
There will be numerous Heineken bars as well as a range of local culinary delights on offer throughout the village.
Merrion Square will also serve as HQ for the colourful and passionate official Supporters Clubs of both ASM Clermont Auvergne and RC Toulon and will be the starting point of their march to the Aviva Stadium.
Entry to the European Champions Village is free of charge and it is open to fans of all ages.
Gates opens from 12.00pm match-day, Saturday, 18 May 2013.
Performing live on stage
'Keywest' are one of Ireland's biggest chart topping rock/pop bands. With over 1.2 million views on YouTube and a huge social media profile, Keywest were recently nominated by Ireland's Hot Press Magazine for best Debut Album. www.keywestofficial.com
'The LOLS' are one of Ireland's premier Party Bands, and awarded Corporate Band of The Year for the third year running in 2012 at The Irish Entertainment Awards. www.thelols.ie
'Los Mokos' are a high energy brass band hailing from the Basque Country and will provide a Basque flavour to the Champions Village. Fans from last years's finals will remember Arriving with the Heineken Cup trophy on the open top bus they will mingle and delight the crowd throughout the day.
|Time||What's On !|
|Face painting and 'Speed Challenge' in ERC activity zone|
|12.15||Heineken Cup Trophy arrives with special guests on open top bus|
|12.30||Heineken Cup Trophy photo opportunities in ERC activity zone|
|Keywest play live on stage|
|14.30||The LOLS play live on stage|
|17.00||Heineken Cup Final live on big screen|
|19.00||DJ rocks the Village till late|
ERC looks forward to welcoming fans to Merrion Square for a great day's entertainment.
The European Champions Village Explained
The European Champions Village is an exercise in experiential fan engagement, developed by ERC and delivered on our biggest day of the year, the day of the Heineken Cup Final. The Heineken Cup Final is one of the biggest sporting occasions on the sporting calendar in the northern hemisphere and attracts an eclectic mix of fans from all over Europe and beyond. This fan park festival is rapidly developing into an integral part of the DNA of the European Club Rugby finals weekend.
Since its inception in Cardiff in 2011 in the remnants of the legendary Cardiff Arms Park, (a site fittingly chosen, as it was the ground where the very first Heineken Cup Final had been played on January 7th 1996), the idea was taken to Twickenham 2012 and developed into a fully-fledged festival with a cacophony of colour and noise, with fans from all over Europe enjoying the social experience and celebrating the mix of cultures that help define and make truly special the European Club Rugby Experience.
The intent was to capture the magical mix of cultures that are experienced by fans throughout the season, at all of the rugby grounds that the European tournaments visit, as tribal rivalries take place, game after game in venue after venue, in many towns and cities across borders in Europe every year through the 79 games in the Heineken Cup and the 67 games in the Amlin Challenge Cup. This Finals weekend is a culmination of the European club rugby season and for all the traveling fans the European Champions Village is a focal point for them to congregate and celebrate their love for their teams, these tournaments and the sport in a unique way.
With a compelling array of activities supported by our tournament partners, fans can enjoy novelty experiences such as skill challenging participative games, adidas player signings, FedEx photo opportunities with the Heineken Cup all while listening to live bands on Amlin's stage and big screens. Complimentary face painting and 2D/3D photo walls activities are also available for fans during the afternoon. For those seeking nourishment or refreshment, there are numerous Heineken bars as well as local culinary delights on offer throughout the village.
The European Champions Village does not require an admission fee or ticket for entry.
It is accessible to fans of all ages and traditionally it has opened 5 hours before KO to allow for the arrival of the trophy tour, and for fans to experience the excitement and celebration of cultures that is on show both on and off the field.