The 100 Day Countdown to the Guinness PRO12 Final has begun with the announcement that Luke Fitzgerald has become the official ambassador for the showpiece event at Dublin's Aviva Stadium on May 27.
Aviva Stadium will be the third Destination Final for the Guinness PRO12 and with tickets selling fast the stage is set for the biggest decider in the Championship's history.
Fitzgerald, who has represented the British & Irish Lions, Ireland and Leinster, believes that this season's Guinness PRO12 Final will be the most thrilling game yet.
Fitzgerald said: "Aviva Stadium has created so many special occasions for players and fans from all around the world and the prospect of witnessing the Guinness PRO12 Final there is creating a great buzz across the Championship.
"I'm sure the supporters from Scotland, Wales and Italy will know from their trips to Dublin during the Six Nations just how welcoming the city is and it's going to be a great occasion for them no matter who reaches the Final.
"There's little doubt the Irish provinces will be doing everything within their power to reach the Final and it will be a great way for fans to see some of the stars of the British & Irish Lions tour before they fly down to New Zealand.”
As the competition in the Guinness PRO12 across Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales gets tougher each week, the anticipation is building for a match-up that will showcase one of the most entertaining club rugby tournaments in the world. This season tries are being scored in record numbers and the Final promises to be a celebration of the adventurous rugby that the Championship prides itself on.
Fitzgerald added: "As for the game itself, I know from personal experience that the fierce intensity on the pitch will be matched by the passion in the stands. The Guinness PRO12 has been full of attractive rugby for years, but this season it's gone to the next level and you can see that the clubs have carried that form into their European performances. Whoever reaches the Final, it's going to be a fast-paced, entertaining affair.”
Fitzgerald was joined at St James' Gate Brewery in Dublin by Rory Sheridan, Head of Sponsorship for Diageo Europe, and Dermot Rigley, Commercial Director for PRO12 Rugby to mark the 100 Day Countdown to the Guinness PRO12 Final on May 27.
Sheridan said: "Dublin is the home of Guinness and naturally we're thrilled that the Guinness PRO12 Final will be hosted here. We have already witnessed two epic finals since we came on board as title sponsors in 2014 and based on the attractive rugby we have seen so far this season I have no doubt that this year's Guinness PRO12 Final will be even better.
"We have loved every minute of our sponsorship of the Guinness PRO12 which is why we have extended that relationship until 2020. We're excited to see which two teams will make it to the Guinness PRO12 Final on May 27 and create yet another memorable occasion for rugby supporters.”
In addition, Rigley said: "The Guinness PRO12 has established itself as one of the most entertaining tournaments in the world of club rugby and a national ground such as Aviva Stadium is the perfect setting to crown the champions for the 2016/17 season.
"The Guinness PRO12 is in a great place right now. Six of our clubs are involved in the knock-out stages of European competition, the Championship is producing outstanding rugby, attendances and viewers are up while tickets for the Final are selling at a record-setting pace.
"The appeal of rugby is always developing because of the game's core values which sports fans and major brands such as Guinness can relate to.”
- 2010 (Dublin) 19,500 Sold-Out
- 2011 (Limerick) 26,100 Sold-Out
- 2012 (Dublin) 18,500 Sold-Out
- 2013 (Dublin) 19,200 Sold-Out
- 2014 (Dublin) 19,200 Sold-Out
- 2015 (Belfast) 17,500 Sold-Out
- 2016 (Edinburgh) 34,500 Record Attendance
- 2010: Leinster Rugby 12 Ospreys Rugby 17 (2 Tries)
- 2011: Munster Rugby 19 Leinster Rugby 9 (2 Tries)
- 2012: Leinster Rugby 30 Ospreys Rugby 31 (6 Tries)
- 2013: Ulster Rugby 18 Leinster Rugby 24 (1 Try)
- 2014: Leinster Rugby 34 Glasgow Warriors 12 (4 Tries
- 2013: Glasgow Warriors 31 Munster Rugby 13 (5 Tries)
- 2014: Leinster Rugby 10 Connacht Rugby 20 (4 Tries)
The Guinness PRO12 Final takes place at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin on May 27, 2017. Tickets for the Guinness PRO12 Final are available via ticketmaster.ie with a limited number of great value €35 tickets still remaining. Or get in at the top level with Premium, starting at only €70. www.pro12rugby.com/final