As the RaboDirect PRO12 Play-Off semi-finals get ready to kick-off in Swansea tonight (Friday, 11 May) RaboDirect PRO12 Chief Executive John Feehan has confirmed the arrangements for the Final on the weekend of 26/27 May.
As stated at the start of the season, and in accordance with the way the final venues were determined in the previous two seasons, the top ranked team from the regular campaign will enjoy home advantage.
The final rankings from the 22 rounds of RaboDirect PRO12 matches were as follows:
4 Glasgow Warriors
This means the three possible venues for the RaboDirect PRO12 Final at RDS, home of Leinster, the Liberty Stadium, home of the Ospreys, and Thomond Park, home of the reigning champions Munster.
One of the three venues will be ruled out after the first semi-final in Swansea tonight, when the Ospreys host Munster. Whichever team wins will still have a chance of hosting the Final.
However, if Leinster beat Glasgow Warriors at the RDS on Saturday night then they will host the Final due to their No1 ranking.
“Ever since we introduced the Play-Off system at the start of the 2009/10 season we have wanted to reward the team finishing in the top two positions in the regular season. This means they get home advantage in the semi-finals and then, possibly, in the Final,” explained Feehan.
“We have enjoyed full houses at both previous Finals – 19,500 for Leinster v Ospreys in 2010 and 26,100 for Munster v Leinster in 2011 – and look forward to another world class, capacity occasion at the end of this month. Each team will be able to ask for up to 50% of the tickets for the Final.
“Due to the Republic of Ireland international football match against Bosnia at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday, 26 May, PRO12 decided, after discussions with both Leinster and our TV partners, to avoid any potential clash and switch a Dublin Final to Sunday, 27 May.
“It was also felt by all parties that due to the tight turn-around between the semi-finals and Final, it would be better to confirm the RDS as Leinster’s home venue, rather than consider a possible switch to the Aviva Stadium, to help with the ticketing, policing, travel and administration of the Final.”
Below are he confirmed dates and kick-off times of all possible combinations for the RaboDirect PRO12 Final, the broadcasters will be announced once the two finalists are known:
SATURDAY, 26 MAY
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors– Liberty Stadium (20,000 capacity)
Munster v Glasgow Warriors– Thomond Park (26,000 capacity)
SUNDAY, 27 MAY
Leinster v Ospreys / Munster– RDS (18,200 capacity)