There could be players from as many as 11 different countries in Saturday's star-studded European Rugby Champions Cup final at Twickenham.
Toulon are going for a record breaking three titles in a row in Europe’s premier tournament, while Clermont are still chasing their Holy Grail. The stakes couldn’t be higher for this 20th playing of Europe’s showpiece club event.
1. History in the making
RC Toulon could become the first club in European rugby history, and only the second in the world game, to win a hat-trick of elite titles. They are in line to match the great Crusaders team of 1998-2000 who won the Super Rugby title three times in-a-row.
2. Vive la difference!
Toulon and Clermont boast international players from 11 different countries and are currently the two leading clubs in France.
3. Exceptional reasons for exceptional talent?
In-form Clermont full back, Nick Abendanon, and Toulon’s Steffon Armitage will get the chance to show off their considerable talents to England Head Coach, Stuart Lancaster, in advance of Rugby World Cup 2015. Armitage is also bidding to become the first English players to win three European Cup winners’ medals.
4. Centres of attention
Wesley Fofana, Jonathan Davies, Mathieu Bastareaud and Matt Giteau will be fighting out a world-class midfield battle at Twickenham – worth the admission price on its own!
5. Farewell to giants of the game
World Cup-winners, Bakkies Botha and Ali Williams, as well as Toulon captain, Carl Hayman, will be playing in their last European game before hanging up their boots at the end of the season
6. Nigel Owens is in charge
One of the world’s best referees, Nigel Owens, will be in charge of a record-breaking fourth European Cup decider. When he was in the middle at Twickenham in March, there were 90 points and 12 tries in the England v France 6 Nations game.
Clermont, who have never won the European club rugby’s elite title, will be seeking revenge after losing to Toulon in the 2013 decider. They will also want to put right what happened on their last visit to Twickenham in last season’s semi-final when they were lost 46-6 to Saracens.
8. World Cup warm-up
The Champions Cup showpiece is the first of three major finals to be staged at Twickenham Stadium this year. Saturday week’s occasion will get fans in the mood for the Aviva Premiership final at the end of May and the 2015 World Cup final on 31 October.
9. Welsh rivalry
Only nine Welsh players have won European Cup winners’ medals. There will be a 10th as Jonathan Davies of Clermont will be facing Toulon’s Leigh Halfpenny at Twickenham.
10. World-class rugby
The inaugural Champions Cup final will be another thrilling occasion. Great players, major rivals, historic targets and the biggest club rugby title in the world on the line.