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Heineken extends rugby sponsorship to 2013

LONDON - Heineken has extended its sponsorship of European club rugby tournament the Heineken Cup for another four years until 2013.

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Heineken first joined forces with the European Rugby Cup on November 1, 1995, the day after the first game had been played.

The first tournament consisted of 12 teams from five countries with a total of 15 matches played. The Heineken Cup now features 24 teams from six nations (England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales) competing over 79 matches to be crowned "Champions of Europe".

Jean-Pierre Lux, ERC chairman, said: "The partnership between ERC and Heineken has grown to be something very, very special in rugby union. With the support of Heineken we have nurtured the Heineken Cup and created a tournament which has earned the respect and admiration of the rugby playing world."

Didier Debrosse, Heineken regional president western Europe, said: "The Heineken Cup has achieved positive growth, awareness and prestige each year since its foundation in November 1995. It is a pleasure for Heineken to continue to bring this unique, qualitative, and passionate rugby experience to all its supporters across Europe and beyond."

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