The army of Heineken Cup fans continues to grow - a tournament record for Round 1 matches of 119,048 supporters went through the turnstiles for the 12 opening matches of the 11th tournament.
That was 9,624 more than last year's 10-year high for Round 1 and just under 700 short of the record for any Round of matches, the 119,724 who turned up to watch the deciding fixtures in Round 6 last season.
Half the matches topped five figures with defending champions and triple Heineken Cup winners Toulouse leading the way on and off the field, 17,138 watching them score seven tries in the 50-28 defeat of Llanelli Scarlets.
Leicester Tigers were not far behind with another capacity Welford Road crowd of 16,815 watching them beat ASM Clermont Auvergne 57-23, with Leinster (13,152), Ulster (12,252), Saracens (11,167) and Sale Sharks (10,704, club tournament record) also topping 10,000.
It adds up to over 4,000,000 fans having watched Heineken Cup Pool stage matches.
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.