Leo Cullen has been there, got the T shirt and done it all. Well, almost everything, because 14 seasons on from making his European debut the Leinster skipper is set for his Amlin Challenge Cup debut in Friday night's quarter-final at London Wasps.
The 34-year-old Irish international lock made his Heineken Cup debut way back in 1998 as a replacement against Stade Francais. Since then he has added 86 more appearances in that tournament and featured in four finals.
Not only that, he has lifted the trophy a record three times as captain and become only the second skipper to lead his side to back-to-back titles. The plan was always to make it a hat-trick this season, but there is still a chance of following up his two Heineken Cup final wins with a third major European title.
And that is now the goal for one of the standard bearers of European club rugby as they, along with Toulouse, prepare for their Amlin Challenge Cup debut after 18 successive seasons, and 121 games, in the top flight.
"If you look at the quality of teams left in the Amlin, it's pretty staggering - when they put out the stats of the number of winners of the main competition left it's kind of bizarre in a way," admitted Cullen, whose side are among four quarter-finalists who have won 10 Heineken Cup titles between them.
"I suppose the disappointing thing about our last two Pool games is probably that we did a lot of work in the first 50 minutes and almost ran out of steam in both. I think we scored one try in the last 60 minutes of both games. Looking back that's probably the biggest regret.
"But there's no point dwelling on it. Wasps are a well-balanced team and I know Dai Young likes having strong ball carriers - and they have strong ball carriers across the park in Ashley Johnson, Billy Vunipola, and Andrea Masi.
"They also have speed on the wings. I obviously know Tom Varndell from Leicester and he's a freakish talent. He's probably a little bit inconsistent, but when he fires on his day it's ridiculous how fast he is."
The two teams have history in the Heineken Cup having met three times. Wasps hold the upper hand with two wins to one and their previous meetings have all come in seasons when one of the other has carried off a European title.
Cullen was at Leicester Tigers when the two clubs first met at Adams Park in the 2007 Heineken Cup quarter-final. The home side ran out convincing 35-13 winners that day, Cullen finally catching up with the Londoners in the final at Twickenham when he was a replacement in a 25-9 defeat.
The other clashes came in the Pool stages in 2008/09 when Cullen was busy leading Leinster to the first of their three titles. They were easy winners in Dublin, but were beaten 19-12 in front of a 30,000+ crowd at Twickenham Stadium in the return game.
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.