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The Camp Nou awaits a historic moment on Friday when it swaps the round ball for an oval one to host a rugby union match for the first time ever – the final of the Top 14 of the Ligue Nationale de Rugby (LNR) between Racing 92 and RC Toulon.
And with all 98,000 tickets for the game sold, the game is set to break the all-time record attendance for a club-level rugby union match, dwarfing the record of 84,068 set for the meeting between Saracens and Harlequins at Wembley in last year’s English Premiership final.
The game has been switched from its traditional home of the Stade de France in Saint-Denis due to the clash with football’s Euro 2016 championships, which are being hosted by France this month.
Racing 92, the club of one of the greatest All-Blacks of all time, fly-half Dan Carter, qualified by virtue of an epic 33-34 defeat of regular season table-toppers Clermont in the semi-final. This is the first time the Parisians, runners-up to Saracens of England in the European Champions Cup a month ago, have reached the final since being formed in 2001, although they did win the title five times in their previous guise as Racing Club de France.
Up against them are RC Toulon, European champions three times in a row from 2013 to 2015, and who defeated Montpellier 27-18 in the other semi-final. They will be looking to become French champions for the fifth time, after last taking the crown two seasons ago.
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