Edinburgh aim to break 37,000 Heineken record
With the landmark occasion seeing unprecedented support, the last-eight encounter – the first to take place on Scottish soil – raced past the country’s Heineken Cup and all-time club rugby record attendances, weeks out from the game.
With 30,000 fans booked up for the cup clash, the club are still 7,000 shy of the milestone set by Cardiff Blues against the Frenchmen at the Millennium Stadium back in 2009, but advance purchase discounts, available up to this Thursday, have helped boost numbers.
Edinburgh head coach Michael Bradley said: “We can’t thank our fans enough for the overwhelming support shown for this fixture, it’s going to be a tremendous day, with lots happening in and around the ground to bring the stadium to life.
“With less than a week to go, the anticipation is really starting to mount for this very exciting, and very significant, match in Edinburgh Rugby’s history.”
No Scottish side has ever made it past this stage, with the club’s last and only foray into the last eight taking place in 2004, when they faced Toulouse at Le Stadium Municipal. This time Edinburgh have home advantage and Bradley called on the crowd to take the opportunity to make their presence felt against the French giants, who stayed top of the league at the weekend with a 22-18 win over Stade Français.
Lionel Beauxis kicked five penalties and also converted the only try of the match, scored by centre Florian Fritz. The victory was even more impressive, as Toulouse rested William Servat, Clément Poitrenaud, Gurthrö Steenkamp, Luke McAlister, Luke Burgess and Census Johnston, ahead of their trip to Edinburgh.
Bradley added: “There’s no question that Toulouse, the four-time champions and arguably the biggest name in European rugby, will pose a massive challenge.
“That’s why we need every voice we can muster out there on Saturday, screaming on our boys for 80 minutes by coming decked out in black and red, banging drums, waving flags, swinging scarves and singing songs – anything they can do to ensure every supporter plays their part in making the most of home advantage.”
To add to the match-day hype, the club confirmed details of a stadium street party to be hosted in the Murrayfield grounds before and after the game. Rock covers band Schtick of Rock will headline the pre-match proceedings while food and drink outlets will operate on the lawn outside the east stand from 1pm.
Fans are encouraged to arrive early, avoid delays and soak up the pre-match atmosphere, where they will also be treated to an array of pipers, drummers, samba bands, face-painters and several thousand free black and red flags, which will be distributed as part of the pre-match build-up.
Supporters are also reminded they can now print their quarter-final tickets using Ticketfast, the simple and convenient way to avoid the ticket collection and purchase queues on match-day.