Home Estate Planning Exclusive: Cardiff and Bilbao to be announced as Investec Champions Cup final venues

Exclusive: Cardiff and Bilbao to be announced as Investec Champions Cup final venues

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The 2025 and 2026 Investec Champions Cup finals will be held in Cardiff and Bilbao respectively, City A.M. understands.

European Professional Club Rugby are expected to confirm the venues for the iconic club finals, with this year’s showpiece already confirmed for the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in North London. 

It will mark over a decade since the final had been held in the Welsh capital, with Saracens’ 23-6 defeat at the home of Wales rugby the last final at the venue in 2014.

Bilbao will host the final in 2026, according to EPCR sources, for the first time since 2018, when Leinster beat Racing 92 15-12 at the San Mamés Stadium.

There had been talk earlier in the season of the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup finals breaking new ground, with EPCR chiefs previously telling City A.M. that the Middle East and United States had bid for the finals in the last 12 months. 

2014 final try

Champions Cup change

The Champions Cup and Challenge Cup have been renovated across the last couple of seasons with bank Investec replacing brewer Heineken as main sponsors, teams form South Africa being included, and the invitation of a Georgian side into the second tier Challenge Cup.

Last year’s final at the Aviva Stadium was marred by abuse aimed at referee Jaco Peyper by former Ireland fly-half Johnny Sexton, who received a three-match ban for the verbal assault.

Sexton’s Leinster lost that final but won the showpiece event when they featured in Bilbao.

The Challenge Cup in the northern Spanish city saw Cardiff topple Gloucester.

Unlike football, rugby hosts both of its major European finals in the same city on the same weekend. 

The Challenge Cup traditionally takes place on the Friday night with the Champions Cup saved for the favoured evening slot on a Saturday.

Spain’s association with rugby has grown rapidly in recent years with their club involvement in the franchise Super Cup, their hosting of precious finals and their accommodation of the two Top 14 fixtures last year – which were held in San Sebastian. 

2018 final

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