THE GUINNESS PRO12 will dispense with recent tradition this season by naming Ulster’s Kingspan Stadium as the venue for the final before the playoff places are even decided.

Until now, the highest seeded team in the Pro12 final has been allowed to nominate their preferred venue for the final.

However, with Ravenhill not meeting capacity requirements to host the 2013 final, Ulster opted to name the RDS as their home venue against Leinster.

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This year, they will have the opportunity to redress that balance as the league has decided to change the rule and introduce a ‘destination final’, starting with the redeveloped 18,196 capacity Kingspan Stadium as the venue for the decider on the final weekend in May.

“We are extremely pleased that our bid to host the Guinness Pro12 Final was successful,” CEO Shane Logan said in a statement.

Meanwhile, tournament director David Jordan says the first ‘destination final’ for the league is evidence of the efforts to build the Pro12 brand.

“We have been working with all our clubs to build the Pro12 rugby brand and the announcement today is an important step in showcasing our fantastic competition. Our last five sell out Finals were truly memorable rugby spectacles and, building on this success, we look forward to welcoming fans to Belfast for what will be a fantastic rugby weekend.”

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