“Never too late to turn the plane around, ROG!”
The Heineken Champions Cup Final is just around the corner, and as it’s being held in Dublin for the first time in over a decade, you can practically feel the anticipation.
Indeed, in just a few days, the Leinster squad will square off against La Rochelle on Saturday 20 May in Dublin’s Aviva. The excitement is palpable, but so too is the rivalry.
Friendly competition has long been a part of rugby culture, and this year, it’s no different, particularly given Ronan O’Gara’s involvement. As La Rochelle’s head coach, the seasoned Munster man will be leading his squad into battle, and given the club’s recent history, tensions are high. Last year, under O’Gara’s guidance, La Rochelle scored a narrow defeat over Leinster at the 2022 Heineken Champions Cup Final with a late try in the State Vélodrome in Marseille. Naturally enough, Leinster fans are hoping home advantage will help secure our elusive fifth star.
To that end, the cup’s long-term sponsor Heineken, are embracing the competitive spirit of the cup’s supporters with their Love Rivalry campaign. Ahead of this weekend’s final, Heineken enabled one of Leinster’s super-fans, Colin Fennessy, to send a message to La Rochelle, giving O’Gara a big welcome back to Ireland.
After reaching out to the sponsor, Heineken lent Fennessy a helping hand as they made their way to Ballyboughal Airfield next to Dublin Airport. There, they left a super-cheeky message for the arriving La Rochelle squad, as well as O’Gara. The message, which was visible from 30,000 ft, read: “Never too late to turn the plane around, ROG!”
What better way to welcome an old rival home, eh?
Of course, only time will tell who will come out on top as these two teams go head to head in just a few days time. Leinster and La Rochelle will kick off at 16:45 on Saturday 20 May, and regardless of whose side you’re on, it’s bound to be an incredible weekend of sport.
The Love Rivalry campaign forms just one part of Heineken’s long-standing relationship to the Heineken Champions Cup. Their association dates back to the inception of the tournament, with the final taking place three times previously in the Aviva, formerly Landsdowne Road.
Heineken® Ireland made a Leinster super-fans dreams come to life by helping him post a message in a Ballyboughal Airfield next to Dublin airport especially for the visiting rival team.