The Dutch brewer Heineken has extended its sponsorship of rugby's Heineken Cup for a further four years.

Rob Marijnen, Heineken UK managing director, said: "The Heineken Cup has been a terrific showcase for the Heineken brand here in the UK.  Heineken relaunched in the UK in 2003 when we switched to the premium 5% Heineken, imported from the continent. 

"Being so closely involved with Europe's premier club rugby tournament has helped us cement this new position. The Heineken Cup has got better and better each year and we're looking forward to welcoming the cream of European rugby to Edinburgh in May for the final."

The partnership between Heineken and ERC was first announced in 1995 and has developed into one of the longest running and most successful alliances in the professional game.

"We are delighted that Heineken will continue their association with us through until 2009, adding continuity and even greater stability to a tournament that is enjoying unparalleled appeal and success in our 10th anniversary season," said ERC Chairman, Jean-Pierre Lux.