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ERC can confirm that the Federation Française de Rugby (FFR) has withdrawn its application to host the 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals, due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the availability of the Stade de France.
However, hooker Steve Thompson has returned to training today following his recovery from a calf strain and it is hoped wing Sean Lamont will resume training on Thursday. The Scotland winger had to pull out of Saturday's league game due to a knee injury.
In the pack, locks Matt Lord and Christian Short are also in doubt with calf and ankle injuries respectively.
Fly-half Carlos Spencer will definitely miss the game to serve his one-week ban for a dangerous tackle. He will resume training on Tuesday, October 24. Centre Vaughan Going is also unable to play in the pool stage of Northampton Saints' European campaign as he is not part of the registered Heineken Cup squad.
Head coach Paul Grayson said: "We are still hoping Ben may come through as after his performance on Saturday proved, he would be a big loss. Injuries do create opportunities for other players to step up, although that process if slightly more limited within the European named squads. We are looking forward to Sunday, however, and relish the opportunity to play against one of the best sides in the French league."