European Rugby Finals 2018 live on Sky Sports & BT Sport

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European rugby’s elite competitions reach their climax in Spain for the first time as the city of Bilbao hosts the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup finals, live on Sky Sports and BT Sport.

The San Mames Stadium will stage the first European rugby finals to held to be held outside of Europe’s traditional rugby territories, starting with the Challenge Cup final between Cardiff Blues and Gloucester on Friday, 11 May, followed by Leinster taking on Racing 92 in the Champions Cup final on Saturday, 12 May.

The latter sees Leinster chasing a fourth European Cup final success in as many attempts, having won the competition in 2009 before successive titles in 2011 and 2012, while Racing 92 will be hoping to lift their first Champions Cup title.

It will be the first meeting between the two sides since the pool stages of the 2010-11 competition, when Leinster completed a double over Racing with a 38-22 victory in Dublin and a 36-11 success in Paris.

Featuring some of the biggest names in world rugby, the final will see four Leinster players – Cian Healy, Isa Nacewa, Johnny Sexton and Devin Toner – each gunning for their fourth winner’s medal in Bilbao, while Racing 92 trio of Dan Carter, Joe Rokocoko and Ben Tameifuna, as well as Leinster’s Jamison Gibson-Park, are themselves bidding to complete the rare double of Champions Cup and Super Rugby titles.

Before the elite final comes the Challenge Cup final on Friday as Gloucester Rugby take on Cardiff Blues, also at Bilbao’s San Mames Stadium, in what will be only the second time the pair have met in the competition, with their previous encounter having come as recently as last year, when Gloucester triumphed 46-26 at Kingsholm.

Gloucester will look to end an encouraging first season under Johan Ackermann on a high. The English club have the most Challenge Cup final experience, having won the tournament twice and finished runners-up once, whereas the Blues have lifted the trophy once.

By reaching the Challenge Cup final for the fourth time, Gloucester have equalled the competition record held by Harlequins and Bath, and if they beat Cardiff Blues, they will match Harlequins’ record of three tournament triumphs.

Cardiff Blues’ sole Challenge Cup success came in their first season in the competition in 2010, when they defeated Toulon, and they are likely to provide an even sterner challenge for an injury-hit Gloucester squad.

The scene is set for the climax to the European rugby season in Bilbao and there is a choice of viewing for rugby union fans for live TV coverage of both matches.

Sky Sports and BT Sport will scrum down and go head-to-head for the last time under their current deal on 11-12 May as they both screen live coverage of the European Rugby Challenge Cup and Champions Cup finals from Bilbao.

Both networks will be on-site with comprehensive coverage of both encounters, including extensive build-up, post-match reaction and trophy presentations, starting with the European Challenge Cup final on Friday night. 

Alex Payne will present Sky Sports’ coverage alongside Will Greenwood, Scott Quinnell and Jamie Roberts, with match commentary from Mark Robson and Ieuan Evans, while BT Sport’s coverage will be hosted by Martin Bayfield, alongside guests Brian O’Driscoll, Lawrence Dallaglio and Ugo Monye. Match commentary comes from Alistair Eykyn, Ben Kay and Austin Healy, with Sarra Elgan reporting from the touchline.

Then on Saturday comes the finale to the Champions Cup season with both Sky Sports and BT Sport’s coverage starting at 4pm ahead of a 4.45pm kick-off. Alex Payne hosts Sky Sports’ coverage of its last Champions Cup final alongside Will Greenwood with match commentary from Miles Harrison and Stuart Barnes.

Over on BT Sport, Craig Doyle will front live coverage with guests Brian O’Driscoll, Lawrence Dallaglio and Austin Healy. O’Driscoll is also part of their match commentary, which is led by Nick Mullins alongside Ben Kay, while Martin Bayfield and Sarra Elgan will have all the latest reports plus pre and post-match interviews.

From next season, BT Sport will be the principal broadcaster of both European rugby competitions, showing every Champions Cup match live for the next four years, with Sky Sports’ association with European rugby being brought to an end in Bilbao after more than 20 years. The competition will also return to free-to-air television with one live match per round on Channel 4.

Details of when and where to watch TV coverage of the European Challenge Cup and European Champions Cup finals can be found below.

FRIDAY 11th MAY

CARDIFF BLUES v GLOUCESTER
European Rugby Challenge Cup Final
LIVE  7.15pm-10.30pm  BT Sport 2
LIVE  7.30pm-10.30pm  Sky Sports Action

20:00

 
SATURDAY 12th MAY

LEINSTER v RACING 92
European Rugby Champions Cup Final
LIVE  4.00pm-7.30pm  BT Sport 2
LIVE  4.00pm-7.30pm  Sky Sports Action

16:45

 

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