There are teams from three nations left in the search for Heineken Cup glory and between them there are 81 international players from 12 different countries still in the hunt…
The ERC reports that there are teams from three nations left in the search for Heineken Cup glory and between them there are 81 international players from 12 different countries still in the hunt to join the elite 223 players to have claimed cherished Heineken Cup final winners’ medals.
Aside of the host of French and Irish Test players taking part in the semi-finals, the four squads also include capped players from England, South Africa, Argentina, New Zealand, Fiji, Scotland, Italy, Canada, Samoa and Tonga.
Players from 14 different nations are already on the roll of honour with 72 Englishmen and 65 Frenchmen having collected winners’ medals. They are followed by Ireland (45), Scotland (10), Wales (eight), South Africa and New Zealand (five each), Samoa (four), Argentina (three), Australia (two) and Italy, USA, Canada and Poland on one apiece.
DID YOU KNOW?
* London Irish and Saracens are appearing in their first Heineken Cup semi-finals while Toulouse are appearing in their eighth and Munster their seventh semi-finals.
* Five Munster players – Ronan O’Gara, Peter Stringer, John Hayes, Donncha O’Callaghan and Anthony Foley – have appeared in a record six semi-finals.
* The 2003 / 2004 semi-finals had the greatest combined attendance of 82,500 when the ties were played at Lansdowne Road (Munster v London Wasps, 48,500) and at Stade Chaban-Delmas in Bordeaux (Toulouse v Biarritz Olympique, 34,000).
* That Munster v London Wasps attendance is the tournament record for a semi-final.
* The only semi-final requiring extra time was the 1998 all-French clash between Toulouse and Brive. Toulouse lost that one on a 2-1 try count.
* The 24 Heineken Cup semi-finals played so far have been watched by 614,817 fans – an average attendance for each of those semi-finals of 25,617.
* The highest score in a semi-final has been the 37 points scored by Leicester Tigers against Toulouse in 1997 and the 37 points scored by London Wasps against Munster in 2004.
* The biggest winning margin has been 27 points, when Toulouse beat Swansea 30-3 in 1996.
* Two clubs have scored five tries in a semi-final, Leicester Tigers against Toulouse 1997 and London Wasps against Munster in 2004.
* Only one of the 24 semi-finals has failed to produce a try – Biarritz Olympique’s 18-9 win over Bath Rugby in San Sebastian in 2006.Tweet