With the European Finals Weekend at Twickenham Stadium coming up this weekend, we take a look back at the five previous deciders that have been held at English rugby’s headquarters.
2000 – Northampton Saints 9 Munster Rugby 8
Paul Grayson kicked Northampton Saints to their first European title in the first Heineken Cup decider not to feature a French side.
In a front of a then-record final crowd of 68,441, the England international landed three penalties to show his young counterpart, Ronan O’Gara, how it is done.
The Munster fly-half missed all four of his kicks, including one a minute from the end, to leave the Irish province agonisingly short after scoring the game’s only try.
That came in the 33rd minute, when a series of quick, accurate passes set David Wallace free. Munster’s only other score was a Jason Holland drop-goal in the early stages.
2004 – Wasps 27 Toulouse 20
Wasps won the Heineken Cup for the first time in dramatic fashion as scrum-half Robert Howley grabbed the decisive try in the dying seconds.
With the sides locked at 20-20, the Welsh international tried his hand with a grubber kick and swooped when Clément Poitrenaud dithered over the bouncing ball.
Full-back Mark van Gisbergen converted to complete a match tally of 17 points, which also included the conversions of his try and that of centre Stuart Abbott, plus two penalties.
Toulouse’s main contributor was fly-half Yann Delaigue with 11 points from a try and two penalties, while replacement scrum-half Jean-Baptiste Elissalde also landed three penalties.
2007 – Wasps 25 Leicester Tigers 9
Wasps denied English Premiership rivals Leicester Tigers the European-domestic double in comprehensive fashion as they lifted the Heineken Cup for the second time in four years.
The 2004 champions out-thought and outmuscled the Treble-chasing Tigers, who had also won the EDF Energy Cup, in front of a then-record crowd for a club game of 81,076.
Both Wasps’ tries came in the first half through scrum-half Eoin Reddan and hooker Raphael Ibanez. With fly-half Alex King kicking a penalty, they led 13-9 at the break following three penalties from his Leicester opposite number, Andy Goode.
The second half was all Wasps as King nailed three more penalties and dropped a goal, and two-time European champions Leicester failed to add to their score.
2012 – Leinster Rugby 42 Ulster Rugby 14
Leinster became the first side to win three Heineken Cups in four years as they produced a record-breaking performance to rout Irish rivals Ulster in front of an all-time high final crowd of 81,744.
They emulated Leicester Tigers in winning back-to-back trophies thanks to a record Heineken Cup final-winning margin and points total, as they also set a new final record of five tries.
Leinster made it three wins from three finals via first-half scores from flanker Sean O’Brien and prop Cian Healy, followed by a penalty try and late scores from replacements Heinke van der Merwe and Sean Cronin in the second period.
Fly-half Johnny Sexton converted three and landed three penalties for a match haul of 15 points, while wing Fergus McFadden also kicked a conversion.
Two penalties from scrum-half Ruan Pienaar were Ulster’s only scores in the first half, but a further Pienaar penalty and a try from lock Dan Tuohy gave them hope – until they were blown away by Leinster’s late burst.
2015 – RC Toulon 24 ASM Clermont Auvergne 18
Toulon became the first side to complete a hat-trick of European Cups as they staged a fine comeback to defeat Clermont in the inaugural Champions Cup final.
They trailed 11-3 midway through the first half and only led 19-18 with 10 minutes to go, but a brilliant try from wing Drew Mitchell – in which he raced clear from near halfway after bamboozling six defenders – pulled Toulon clear.
After two Camille Lopez penalties and one from Toulon full-back Leigh Halfpenny, Clermont stormed ahead on 24 minutes, when a charge–down by scrum-half Morgan Parra was pounced on by centre Wesley Fofana for the game’s first try.
However, two more Halfpenny penalties cut the gap to 11-9 and then centre Mathieu Bastareaud powered over on the stroke of half-time for a try converted by Halfpenny to give Toulon a 16-11 lead.
The Welshman extended Toulon’s advantage with his fourth penalty, only for full-back Nick Abendanon to chip over the Toulon defence for a try goaled by Lopez on 62 minutes and that looked to be the killer blow until Mitchell’s stunning effort.