In the feature it is contested by CEO of sponsorship experts Synergy, Tim Crow, that Twickenham was the pragmatic marketing decision for a brand new competition while Italian international Simone Favaro insisted that there is more to rugby than money. He wanted to see major events taken in to territories like Italy because it would be well received, passionately supported and help the game in general.
However former England captain and BT sport rugby expert Lawrence Dallaglio believes that while money and growing the game are important, Twickenham can tick both of those boxes on the grand day of Saturday 2 May.
“Twickenham is a very special place,” says Dallaglio, who triumphed in two Heineken Cup finals at England’s national stadium with Wasps. “I recently helped journalist Chris Jones with his book The Secret Life of Twickenham – I’ve been fortunate enough to play a number of club finals there, and it is an iconic place.
“There have also been so many special moments there. Look back to when it was hosting the 1991 World Cup final or that game where Philippe Saint-Andre scored that try, considered one of the best ever scored.”
Dallaglio agrees that commercially this is a “very sound” choice and it makes real sense to have the Champions Cup final there for a guaranteed sell-out, but that is a by-product of having such an impressive venue hosting a successful new event. “It’s the dawn of a new tournament, in the year of a Rugby World Cup. While some would agree that the European Champions Cup final should be played elsewhere, in many ways this is a pre-curser to the World Cup. This gives organisers the chance to showcase what Twickenham and England have to offer in three to four months (before the World Cup).”
The big event kicks off this Friday, as Harlequins host Castres at the Stoop – where the Challenge Cup final will be on Friday 1 May 2015. If any of the English sides are as lucky as Dallaglio to make a final in Twickenham, maybe they will be able to spend the night before in their own bed, just as the famous England No 8 did back in 2007.
BT Sport will be televising the European Champions Cup final live on 2 May. Kick-off will be at 5pm (BST)