PROBUSINESS

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Fol­low­ing on from Con­nacht's his­toric win in 2016, more thrills and spills are guar­an­teed, as a pul­sat­ing Guin­ness PRO12 com­pe­ti­tion en­ters its fi­nal stages. The Guin­ness PRO12 is the com­pe­ti­tion that pro­duced one of the most spec­tac­u­lar mo­ments in the his­tory of Ir­ish sport – Con­nacht’s fairy­tale win over Le­in­ster in last year’s fi­nal. And now, the fi­nal of the tour­na­ment is com­ing to Dublin, with teams from Scot­land, Italy and Wales join­ing Mun­ster and Le­in­ster – both cur­rently oc­cu­py­ing top four po­si­tions in the ta­ble – in the race to reach the Aviva on May 27.

Boast­ing more in­ter­na­tional play­ers than any of Europe’s do­mes­tic com­pe­ti­tions, record-set­ting scores com­bined with fast, ex­hil­a­rat­ing play have made the Guin­ness PRO12 into one of the must­see tour­na­ments in world rugby, with the 2017 fi­nal promis­ing an­other show­case of top-class ac­tion. The com­pe­ti­tion is at­tract­ing in­creas­ing ac­claim for the in­no­va­tive rugby on dis­play, with Con­nacht, for ex­am­ple, earn­ing wide­spread ad­mi­ra­tion for the cre­ative at­tack­ing ap­proach they utilised, on the way to claim­ing last year’s ti­tle in real style.

In­deed, Guin­ness PRO12 teams are cur­rently the top try scor­ers in the Cham­pi­ons Cup, with a to­tal of 131 tries scored in the pool stages; and they have won 38 of 64 games against clubs from other com­pe­ti­tions – a tes­ta­ment to their unique brand of rugby. As seen in last year’s clas­sic show­down, when Con­nacht de­feated four-time cham­pi­ons Le­in­ster in Ed­in­burgh’s BT Mur­ray­field Sta­dium to claim their first ti­tle, the Guin­ness PRO12 fi­nal is al­ways a hugely dra­matic and com­pelling af­fair.

With four teams reach­ing the semi-fi­nals and presently only 16 points sep­a­rat­ing first from sixth, an in­tense bat­tle looms be­fore the last four line-up is de­cided. Defin­ing mo­ments will ar­rive dur­ing April’s “Big Week­end” and Su­per Satur­day in Round 22, so it’s still all to play for…

Don’t miss out!

The Guin­ness PRO12 Fi­nal takes place at the Aviva Sta­dium, Dublin on May 27, 2017. Tick­ets for the Guin­ness PRO12 Fi­nal are avail­able via tick­et­mas­ter.ie with a lim­ited num­ber of great value €30 tick­ets still re­main­ing. Or get in at the top level with Pre­mium, start­ing at only €70. www.pro12rugby.com/fi­nal

Scrum­ming at­trac­tions: Billy Hol­land, Isa Nacewa, John Mul­doon and PRO12 tro­phy Tommy Bowe with the Guin­ness

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