Both these sides know what it is like to reign in Europe. Both have tasted success at the highest level, and both will move heaven and earth to be back at Twickenham and relive the honour of winning the Heineken Cup.

In 2000 Northampton Saints tucked up Munster at Twickenham with a narrow 9-8 win. Five years later London Wasps snatched a 27-20 victory at the same venue at the expense of Toulouse.

A semi-final defeat will hurt – but the inevitability of sport means that one side will leave the Ricoh arena broken hearted on Sunday afternoon.

Will it be Saints, whose Heineken Cup campaign has been the one shining light in an otherwise dismal term that sees them facing possible relegation from the Guinness Premiership? Or will it be Wasps, who have defended their way to the semi-finals with a 5-1 Pool stage record and a 32-13 demolition of highly fancied Leinster in the quarter-finals?

Cup rugby is special, cup rugby is unique – a one off. Form will count for nothing – as Northampton showed against Biarritz in the semi-final – and these two teams will do anything to make it to the Heineken Cup final at Twickenham on May 20.