Two of the eight Welsh winners of the Heineken Cup, Ieuan Evans and Rob Howley, will be joined by the current Miss Wales, Claire Evans, as 'ERC Ambassadors' for the Heineken Cup final in Cardiff on 20 May, 2006.
Former Scottish skipper Andy Nicol, who skippered the Bath side to victory in Bordeaux in 1998, was ERC's first Heineken Cup final ambassador last season when the final was held in Edinburgh. Now the tournament organisers have recruited two of Welsh and European rugby's legends to help push this season;s final - and added a touch of beauty to their promotional team in the shape of Claire.
Evans, who was in the Bath team that beat Brive in 1998, played six times in the tournament, scoring two tries in two appearances for Llanelli Scarlets before transferring to Bath, while Howley is still the leading try scorer in the competition for Cardiff Blues with 10 in 31 games. He played in the 1997 semi-final with the Blues before switching to London Wasps.
He made a further seven Heineken Cup appearances for Wasps, including a try scoring contribution in the 2004 final at Twickenham when the English side pipped Toulouse.
The 22-year-old Claire Evans, from Aberystwyth, also has a strong sporting pedigree and is a Welsh cross country international. Her dream is to represent Wales at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in the marathon.
Having scooped the Miss Wales 2005 title, Claire will be jetting off to China next month to take part in the Miss World contest. Before she goes, one of her first tasks as an 'ERC Ambassador' will be to accompany Ieuan Evans in climbing to the top of Snowdon with the Heineken Cup.
As part of the build-up to next month's Cardiff 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals weekend, ERC has joined forces with the WRU, Cardiff Blues and adidas to develop an annual grassroots community rugby programme targeting young players.
The Ulster Rugby full back, Jared Payne (No 15), has been suspended for two (2) weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing in Dublin arising from the Heineken Cup quarter-final match against Saracens at Ravenhill Stadium on Saturday, 5 April.