A strictly French affair; it is the Battle of France – Biarritz Olympique against Toulouse – at Stade de France on Saturday for the 2010 Heineken Cup title and the ultimate prize in European club rugby.

The final is back in France for the first time since 2001 and it will be the third time the tournament climax is an all-French affair following the clashes between Toulouse and Perpignan in Dublin in 2003 and Toulouse and Stade Français Paris in Edinburgh in 2005.

The two previous finals on French soil both ended in delight for English clubs and despair for French clubs but this time France are guaranteed to supply the champions of Europe.

In 1998 Bath Rugby destroyed Brive’s hopes of making a successful defence of the crown in Bordeaux and three years later Leicester Tigers staged a remarkable comeback to deny Stade Francais Paris victory at Parc des Princes and just a punt away from their capital city headquarters across the road.

Now it is a case of the tried and tested – Toulouse are in a record sixth Heineken Cup final – against relative newcomers to the showpiece occasion. Biarritz are in only their second showpiece match and memories of their 23-19 defeat against Munster at the Millennium Stadium four years ago still haunt the club.

Nevertheless Biarritz have been given a massive boost with No 8 and talisman Imanol Harinordoquy declaring that nothing as minor as cracked ribs will keep him out of the showdown occasion while as a club they have already proved this season they can have the measure of the triple Heineken Cup winners.

Toulouse will be stung and hurt by their 21-13 defeat by Perpignan in the Top 14 semi-finals last weekend and, along with Biarritz recently winning 26-10 at home in Round 23 of the championship, they will be taking nothing for granted as they go into a tournament record 110th match.

And with Harinordoquy proving his true warrior values in helping Biarritz beat former double champions Munster 18-7 in the semi-final after accounting for the fancied Ospreys in the last eight, also across the border at San Sebastian, a mediocre season is now on the brink of being turned into one of glory.

However, Toulouse have been equally impressive in powering their way to the Paris finale.

Domestic rivals Stade Francais Paris were brushed aside almost contemptuously 42-16 at Le Stadium – Toulouse making a real point by taking a last-gasp penalty goal to top the 40 points – and then defending champions Leinster were knocked out 26-16 at the same venue with David Skrela contributing a tournament semi-final equalling record 21 points.

It is going to be a riot of colour, noise and passion – with the only guarantee being that it will all end with a French club being crowned kings of Europe.