Stade De France

Heineken Cup final to be held in Italy... if it’s held at all

Italian rugby folk have frequently had cause to bemoan their misfortune – the Azzurri are no strangers to being diddled out of important victories by referees or being betrayed by World Cup fixture planners – so it would be just their luck to host a Heineken Cup final for the first time in a season when no one turns up. Yesterday, the tournament organisers declared that the 2015 showpiece would be played at the 80,000-capacity San Siro in Milan. It may prove a year too late.

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Frustrated O'Connell raring to go

Paul O'Connell, the Ireland captain, is champing at the bit to get back into the action against Italy in Dublin today, and says his side's enforced three-week lay-off nearly drove him crazy.