The Heineken Cup has reclaimed the world record for a club crowd after 82,208 fans turned up at Croke Park to see Leinster beat Munster 25-6 and reach their first final.
On its debut in the tournament, Dublin's iconic sporting arena grabbed the headlines not only for a stunning match and occasion, but also for overtaking Twickenham Stadium's two previous world best crowds.
The 2007 Heineken Cup final between London Wasps and Leicester Tigers had taken the world record to 81,076 before the re-match between the two sides in the Premiership final last year saw the figure rise to 81,600.
But the Munster and Leinster fans joined forces to add more than 600 to that 2008 landmark and give the Heineken Cup and Irish rugby another statistic of which to to feel very proud
Andswith a crowd of around 50,000 expected to turn up at the Millennium Stadium for Sunday's second semi-final between Cardiff Blues and Leicester Tigers, more than 130,000 fans will have witnessed the four best teams in European club rugby battle for the right to reach the final at Murrayfield Stadium on Saturday, 23 May.
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.