Top 14
Barcelona confirmed as host of 2016 Top 14 final
November 4, 2014
Top 14 officials will hope to pack out the 98,000-capacity Nou Camp in Barcelona © Getty Images

The 2016 French Top 14 final will be staged in Barcelona's Nou Camp season, marking the first time the Bouclier de Brennus trophy, the top award in French rugby, will be contested outside the country.

The move has been forced by the fact the usual venue, the Stade de France in Paris, will be in use during the 2016 European Championship soccer finals. The Top 14 final usually is held earlier in June, but the Rugby World Cup, which England hosts in September and October next year, resulted in the match being pushed back to the last weekend of June - a date that clashes with the last-16 round of Euro 2016, which starts on June 10.

French league president Paul Goze said several European venues had been considered, including Wembley Stadium in London, Stadio Olimpico in Rome and the San Siro in Milan, before the 98-000 capacity Nou Camp won the day. "Barcelona is only 180 kilometres from Perpignan and is well served either by road or my flights," he said.

In another change to tradition, the Top 14 final will be moved from the Saturday to the Friday evening to avoid competition from the soccer matches.

Many of the top French rugby clubs are based in the south close to Spain, including Montpellier, Perpignan, Toulouse and last season's Top 14 champions Toulon.

Perpignan fans haved previously packed out Barcelona's Olympic Stadium © Getty Images

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