All roads lead to Edinburgh in this year’s Champions Cup and Challenge Cup competitions. The home of Scottish Rugby will host the two showpiece events. In recent years, the finals have taken place in some European rugby strongholds, such as the Aviva Stadium, Twickenham and the Principality Stadium.
However, the EPCR are now set to break new ground with the final venturing to less traditional venues over the next two years.
The 2018 decider will take place in Bilbao, at the San Mamés Stadium, home of Atletico Bilbao with a capacity of just over 53,000.
In 2019, the finals will come to St James’ Park in Newcastle. The home of the Magpies is certainly used to hosting big rugby games, and it housed three ties at the Rugby World Cup in 2015.
EPCR Chairman, Simon Halliday spoke of his excitement at the announcement.
“We are very excited to be taking the best club rugby in the world to fans in what is largely a new market. Bilbao is an excellent destination which breaks new ground for our tournaments and we see this as a big step in the expansion of our sport across the continent.
“Fans have previously flocked to matches in Spain both in the European Cup and for last season’s Top 14 final, and they will be sure of a unique, atmospheric weekend in 2018. Newcastle’s commitment to the bid also made it an easy decision to award them the finals in 2019, building on their significant experience of staging major sporting occasions including Rugby World Cup 2015 matches.”
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