From Geoffrey Abadie to Vincenzo Zullo they are all there . . . all 2,595 of them! Yes, that is the number of players who have played in the Heineken Cup since it first kicked-off back in October, 1995.

And now their exploits, along with those of the players who have appeared in the European Challenge Cup over the past decade, are all recorded in the re-vamped ERC website,   Log on to the new ‘Player Record’ section and you can examine the playing records of every player who has ever played in the competition.  Those 2,595 players have made a total of 27,985 appearances in 733 games to date. And between them they have scored 3,582 tries (not including penalty tries) and amassed almost 35,000 points. 

The Players Records section is just one of many new features on the new look bilingual (English & French) Others fan focused features include – picture galleries of past action, “Off the Field Guides” to the Heineken Cup quarter-final venues – a fans forum where supporters can have their say – live match tracking of the Heineken Cup games and audio streaming as well as news, previews, features, teams and match reports.

So what’s the point? Well, if you want to indulge in a bit of nostalgia, check out who did what and when in the Heineken Cup, then you can now find all the answers on the official website of the tournament organisers

Take Munster skipper Anthony Foley, for example, he leads the way not only on the pitch, but also in the appearance stakes in the tournament. Want to find out when he made his debut? Five clicks of the mouse and you are back at Thomond Park, on Wednesday, 1 November, 1995 for Munster’s debut in the Heineken Cup.

David Corkery and Eddie Halvey were detailed to look after the then 21-year-old back row fledgling in a game in which skipper and full back Pat Murray grabbed a try and Ireland and Lions wing Richard Wallace scored another. Fast forward to this weekend, and Foley will be lining up with another member of the Wallace clan, David, when he extends his European record to 74 games in the sell-out quarter-final clash with Perpignan at Lansdowne Road.
“There is a huge appetite for statistics among rugby fans, players and the media and we are very pleased to have been able to add these new sections to our website,” said ERC chief executive Derek McGrath.
“A lot of research has gone into the new statistical sections and we have been able to uncover a lot of amazing facts and figures such as there have been 5,998 substitutions recorded to date from games played in eight different countries and 6,165 penalties and conversions to date.   We want to be the definitive source of information on European Club rugby for all our stakeholders.

“Many of the greatest players of the professional era of rugby union have graced the Heineken Cup and their exploits are now fully recorded on our website. I know that many people marvel at the Heineken Cup on the field of play, now they can cast their eye over the events of the past 733 games and enjoy reliving some of the best moments of European club rugby.”