Dublin wins the race to host historic PRO14 final
The inaugural Guinness PRO14 final will be held in the Aviva Stadium on May 26, 2018, the Irish Independent can confirm.
A record 45,566 attendance turned up to the PRO12 final at the Aviva in May when Munster were beaten by the Scarlets and the tournament organisers have decided to bring their show-piece back to the capital.
It is understood that the final is worth in the region of €15 million to the city, with tickets set to go on sale today.
The news will come as a huge boost to the city, particularly after the PRO14 recently expanded the tournament to include two South African teams, the Cheetahs and the Southern Kings, for the first time.
Cardiff's Principality Stadium had been explored as a potential venue but a scheduling clash meant that the decision went in the Aviva's favour. The PRO14 are hopeful that the added excitement surrounding the new-look tournament will see a record attendance next May.
The Aviva holds 51,700 people, which organisers believe would have been a sell-out had Leinster made it through their semi-final and faced Munster in last season's final.
The accessibility of Dublin is a major draw for the PRO14 who fully expect supporters to travel in large numbers again next year.
Also, the fact that the Aviva is a Six Nations venue is a huge advantage and on the back of last season's success, the unanimous decision was made for the final to return to these shores.
The new season kicks off on September 1 as all roads lead to Dublin once again.
Meanwhile, Connacht's Bundee Aki and Munster's Tyler Bleyendaal were amongst the new faces involved in Ireland's mini training camp at Carton House in recent days.
Aki has yet to publicly declare for Ireland but he now looks set to be involved in the November internationals.
Bleyendaal, another Kiwi, will become Irish qualified in January, based on the three-year residency rule.