RugbyU: Cardiff to host European rugby finals - ERC

European rugby union's showpiece finals will be held in the Welsh capital, Cardiff, next year, competition organisers ERC said on Wednesday.

The European Challenge Cup will be played at the 12,500-seater Cardiff Arms Park on May 23, 2014, while the European Cup will take place the following day at the 74,500-capacity Millennium Stadium.

Cardiff has previously hosted four European Cup finals, with the most recent two years ago, when Irish side Leinster beat Northampton Saints.

ERC chief executive Derek McGrath said in a statement on after a launch event in the city that Cardiff was a "hugely appealing" venue for the finals weekend.

"Cardiff has been the setting for some of the great finals in the past and in many ways, European rugby is returning home," he added.

"I have no doubt that the 2014 weekend at the Cardiff Arms Park and the Millennium Stadium will be yet another celebration of all that is good about European club rugby."

Tickets for the finals go on sale in early September, ERC added

Last year's European Cup was an all-French affair, with Toulon beating Clermont 16-15 in Dublin.

Leinster beat Stade Francais 34-14 in the Challenge Cup final.

Bids for the finals weekend were received from England (Twickenham), Scotland (Murrayfield) and Cardiff after the withdrawal of the French Rugby Federation (FFR) because of uncertainty about the availability of the Stade de France in Paris.

The Challenge Cup decider at the Cardiff Arms Park will be the first time a European final will be played on an artificial pitch.

Cardiff Blues, who won the 2010 Challenge Cup, announced in June that they were installing the surface for the forthcoming season.