In an exhilarating showdown set to take place at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday, kick off 4:45pm.
Two formidable teams, Leinster and La Rochelle, will battle it out for the prestigious title of the 2023 Champions Cup Rugby Final. With both teams displaying exceptional form throughout the tournament, this clash of titans promises to be an unforgettable spectacle for rugby enthusiasts worldwide.
Stade Rochelais Seeks Fourth Final Appearance in Five Years
Stade Rochelais, the defending champions, have once again reached the final for the third consecutive season, cementing their status as one of the most consistent teams in recent years. With their previous appearance in the 2019 Challenge Cup decider, this marks their fourth EPCR final in the last five years. Their remarkable run highlights their strength and determination to claim another title.
Leinster Aims to Equal Stade Toulousain’s Record of Five Titles
Leinster Rugby, a force to be reckoned with in European rugby, will be appearing in their seventh Champions Cup final. This illustrious history has seen them secure four victories so far, and they now have the chance to equal the record held by Stade Toulousain for the most titles won in the tournament’s history. Leinster will leave no stone unturned as they strive to etch their name in rugby greatness.
Cian Healy’s Historic Opportunity for a Fifth Tournament Victory
Cian Healy, the seasoned Leinster prop, stands on the cusp of rugby history. If selected and victorious, he will become the first player ever to win the Champions Cup five times. Additionally, Healy has the opportunity to set a new tournament record of seven final appearances, surpassing his own tally of six, which he currently shares with his Leinster teammate, Johnny Sexton, and Cédric Heymans of CA Brive and Stade Toulousain.
Greg Alldritt’s Dominance in Carries Adds to La Rochelle’s Arsenal
Greg Alldritt, the captain of Stade Rochelais, has been a standout performer this season. With 112 carries in just seven matches, Alldritt’s robust presence and ability to break through opposition defenses make him a crucial asset for his team. La Rochelle will rely on Alldritt’s strength and leadership to create momentum and propel them towards victory.
Irish vs. French: A Rivalry of Past Finals
The final will mark the sixth encounter between Irish and French clubs, with the Irish currently holding the upper hand with four victories to one. This storied rivalry adds an extra layer
• The four highest tackle counts of the semi-finals were achieved by Leinster players: Josh van der Flier (22), Caelan Doris (16), James Ryan (15), and Jack Conan (13). Van der Flier missed four while Doris missed none.
• Jamison Gibson-Park (Leinster Rugby) made a total of 11 kicks in play in the semi-final against Stade Toulousain – more than any other player. He also made the most kicking metres (350).
• Josh van der Flier has scored a tournament-high six tries so far this season -crossing the whitewash in all but one of his appearances this campaign.
• Leinster have averaged more carries per 80 minutes than any other team (133). Hugo Keenan (76) and Jack Conan (70) have been their two most prominent carriers.
• Leinster have averaged 8.9 clean breaks per 80 minutes – the most in the competition. Jimmy O’Brien’s total of 13 is the highest of any player.
• Both Antoine Hastoy and Pierre Bourgarit made two clean breaks in their semi-final against the Exeter Chiefs – only Jimmy O’Brien (Leinster Rugby) made as many in this stage of the competition. Hastoy also won two turnovers.
• UJ Seuteni beat a round-high eight defenders against Exeter. He also made a clean break and scored a try.
• Tawera Kerr-Barlow has scored five tries this season – the second-highest total in the tournament. He has scored all five in the three most recent rounds, having scored consecutive braces in the quarter and semi-finals.
• Greg Aldritt has made more carries (112) and metres in contact (133) than any other player.
• Stade Rochelais have won more turnovers per 80 minutes than any other team, an average of 9.6 per 80 minutes. Aldritt has won a squad-high eight so far this season.