Scotland to host prestigious European rugby finals in 2017
Scotland has been chosen to host rugby's 2017 European Champions Cup and European Challenge Cup finals it was announced today.European Professional Club Rugby, the organising body for the tournaments which represent the pinnacle of club rugby in Europe, announced the award in Neuchatel, Switzerland. The two matches, which will be played in May 2017 over the same weekend, will be hosted in Edinburgh, with the European Champions Cup Final scheduled for BT Murrayfield. The venue for the European Challenge Cup Trophy is still to be decided. Scottish Rugby developed the bid to bring the cup finals to the country in partnership with the Scottish Government and Event Scotland and welcomed the decision of the EPCR board.Dominic McKay, Scottish Rugby's Director of Commercial Operations, Communications and Public Affairs said: "I am absolutely delighted we have been chosen to host the prestigious European Champions Cup and European Challenge Cup finals in Scotland."It is a real endorsement of the work Scottish Rugby and its partners have achieved and will create a fantastic sporting weekend in Edinburgh and bring fans to the city from across Europe."We have a great track record of putting on world-class events, including the highly successful hosting of the previous European Cup finals in 2005 and 2009 at BT Murrayfield and this award will give us a further chance to showcase the passion for rugby and international sport here in Scotland." Scotland's First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon said: "After what has been quite a successful season for rugby in Scotland with Glasgow being crowned Pro12 champions and Edinburgh reaching the final of the European Challenge Cup, this announcement will keep the feel good factor in the game going. "Staging the 2014 Commonwealth Games and The Ryder Cup has shown Scotland is well equipped to host major events. BT Murrayfield is one of the world's top sporting arenas and it is a fitting venue to stage the pinnacle of European club rugby. "Congratulations to the SRU and I'm sure we all look forward to welcoming fans to the capital in 2017 and showing what Edinburgh, and Scotland, has to offer." VisitScotland Chairman, Mike Cantlay, said: "Securing the European Champions Cup and European Challenge Cup for 2017 is a major boost for Scottish Rugby and for Scotland as a whole. These two events are the culmination of the rugby season and will bring in thousands of visitors from the countries of participating teams. Event tourism is crucial because it creates jobs, sustains communities and provides an international shop window for Scotland. "In 2009 the then Heineken Cup brought in over£12m of direct additional spend to Scotland and these two events will certainly generate even greater impact. "The media profile will be superb as well and with television coverage across Europe and beyond these events offer a great opportunity for us to demonstrate that Scotland is the Perfect Stage for events."This year Twickenham hosted the European Champions Cup Final between French clubs Toulon and Clermont, with the Stoop, home to Harlequins RFC, as the venue for the European Challenge Cup final which was contested between Edinburgh Rugby and Gloucester.Lyon has been chosen as the host city for the events in 2016.