The European Champions Cup final will pit three-time champions Leinster against former finalists Racing 92 in what will be the first time the showcase match has taken place in Spain as Bilbao’s San Mames Stadium stages Saturday’s final.
Leinster very much head into the game as favourites, having knocked out the reigning champions Saracens in the quarter-finals before following up with an equally impressive victory over Pro12 champions the Scarlets. With the bulk of the Ireland squad featuring in one of the strongest squads in the game, it’ll take an almighty effort to stop the Irish province from winning their first European title in six years.
But Racing have also had to reach the final the hard way, having knocked out Top 14 rivals Clermont Auvergne in the quarter-finals in one of the major shocks of the tournament, before a destructive first 20 minutes against Munster gave them an unassailable lead to reach the final. With Dan Carter, the former All Black, also set to leave the club this summer to head to Japan, Racing have the potential to give the ex-World Rugby Player of the Year the perfect send-off.
With the San Mames Stadium, home of Spanish football side Athletic Bilbao, set to hold the game, the final represents European Premier Club Rugby’s first foray into Spain in what could be one of the most picturesque finals to have taken place in the tournament’s 22-year history.