No player has ever appeared in four Heineken Cup finals but that could all change when Munster and Toulouse clash in Cardiff next month
No player has ever appeared in four Heineken Cup finals - but there are a number of players in the Munster and Toulouse squads who have played in three finals and could make it four when the two giants of the European club game collide in the 13th Heineken Cup final at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday, 24 May (5.00 pm).
Treble champions Toulouse have qualified for a record fifth tournament final while 2006 Heineken Cup winners Munster will match Leicester Tigers with their fourth appearance in the showpiece occasion. Between them they will have accounted for an astonishing nine of the 26 cup final places.
Munster stars Anthony Foley, John Hayes, Ronan O'Gara, Peter Stringer and David Wallace all played in the finals in 2000, 2002 and 2006 while Jean Bouilhou, Yannick Jauzion, Finau Maka, Fabien Pelous and Clement Poitrenaud all saw action for Toulouse in the 2003, 2004 and 2005 finals.
Those Toulouse players are among the 42 double winners but team-mate Cedric Heymans is the only player to have three winners medals in his trophy cabinet - although he has seen just 36 minutes of winning action.
As a 19-year-old he was an unused replacement for Brive in Cardiff in 1997 and again stayed on the bench for Toulouse in the 2003 final in Dublin. In the Edinburgh 2005 final he came on as a 64th minute replacement and was there at the end of the 20 minutes of extra time that Stade Français Paris forced Toulouse to play before they claimed their record third title. He has played in two finals as he was also in the Toulouse starting line-up beaten by London Wasps in 2004.
And Toulouse have won the toss for jersey choice and will wear an all red strip at the Millennium Stadium while Munster will now wear their navy second strip with white shorts which they wore against Gloucester in the quarter-finals.
Munster won the toss for dressing room choice and will use the same "north" dressing room as in their victorious 2006 Millennium Stadium final.
Meanwhile the semi-finals each attracted crowds of over 30,000 on a weekend that the stock of European club rugby was sent soaring with two outstanding matches as Toulouse beat London Irish at Twickenham Stadium (30,559) and Munster ended Saracens' hopes at the Ricoh Stadium (30,325).
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.