7 Jun, 15:39
ERC can confirm that the Federation Française de Rugby (FFR) has withdrawn its application to host the 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals, due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the availability of the Stade de France.
The draw for next season's group stages took place in Cardiff last Tuesday with Leinster drawn against French Champions Clermont Auvergne, English runners up Saracens and the improving Racing Metro.
But, despite the toughness of the group, Australian skipper Elsom believes his former Leinster team-mates will raise their game to emulate their 2009 triumph over Leicester Tigers at Murrayfield.
"Leinster weren't far away in the Heineken Cup last season and I fully expect them to bounce back next year," said the 27-year-old flanker.
"I actually think they performed well in Europe but they were just beaten by a much better Toulouse side on the day.
"In the end, I wasn't surprised to see Toulouse win the competition at all but, to be honest, they did produce their best display of the tournament in the semi-final.
"Leinster seem a much more complete side now but, in the big games, you can never be sure of anything.
"They have established themselves now as one of the leading sides in Europe and they just have to go again. They will definitely be in the mix to win it."
Elsom is currently on international duty with the Wallabies and won his 51st cap in the 27-17 win over England at the weekend.
He is preparing for Saturday's second Test against Martin Johnson's men, followed by a one-off clash against Ireland which will reunited the back-rower with some of his Leinster pals in Brisbane on June 26.
And, although his focus will soon be on Ireland rather than Leinster, the inspirational blindside is convinced the Dubliners will still pose a major threat on the European stage, despite the departure of coach Michael Cheika to Stade Francais.
"Leinster won't have a problem even if coaches or players are leaving or retiring," added Elsom.
"I still look out for Leinster's scores and I did watch a lot of their matches last season.
"It didn't end the way they wanted in both Europe or the Magners League. But people must remember titles are hard to win."