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ERC can confirm that the Federation Française de Rugby (FFR) has withdrawn its application to host the 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals, due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the availability of the Stade de France.
Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter reckons his new signing is "the best uncapped centre in New Zealand" and, after a decade of top flight experience in his home land, Shoemark should have a lot to offer his new club in their debut season in the English Premiership and Europe.
Shoemark is the Chiefs ninth signing since winning promotion from the Championship. They include Argentine prop Ignacio Elosu, former Bath duo Andrew Higgins and Ryan Davis and young Shannon and Munster Academy back row man Eoghan Grace.
"I first started looking at Jason over a year ago, ironically because we were looking at another guy who was playing for Hawke's Bay. We were watching a lot of their videos and Jason stood out," said Baxter.
"He got into an All Blacks squad, although didn't quite manage to get a cap, he has played Super 14 rugby and been captain of a very successful NPC (National Provincial Championships) side. He has a lot of good qualities and he's the kind of player you want to sign coming into the Premiership.
"I like to think the fans will be excited by his signing because there's an obvious quality there. Our fans have been patient with us announcing signings and we have been patient with the kind of guys we have been looking for.
"We didn't jump into the market with the first guys that came along. Our fans have had to be patient but this shows the kind of players that we are looking at."
Shoemaker will arrive at Sandy Park in November after the 2010 ITM Cup finishes in New Zealand. He is currently captaining Hawke's Bay in the competition, having led them to the semi-finals last year.
The Chiefs have been drawn in the same Pool as Bourgoin, Montpellier, and Newcastle Falcons in the Amlin Challenge Cup and will make their European debut on the weekend of 7-10 October.