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ERC can confirm that the Federation Française de Rugby (FFR) has withdrawn its application to host the 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals, due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the availability of the Stade de France.
Grant Anderson, Joe Beardshaw, Nick Makin and Chris Cracknell met up with the trophy on the beach at Watergate Bay outside Jamie Oliver's restaurant, Fifteen. Staff from the restaurant joined the players in the photoshoot.
The Pirates are two seasons away from qualifying for the Heineken Cup.
To find themselves rubbing shoulders with the likes of Toulouse, Biarritz, Munster, The Ospreys, Edinburgh and London Wasps they must first gain promotion to the English Premiership.
Victory today would keep them on course for promotion, while a top four finish in the Premiership would guarantee them a seat at the high table of European Rugby.
"Having played in the Heineken Cup for both London Wasps and Glasgow I know just how fantastic a competition it is. It is the ultimate dream for the Pirates to one day entertain a team like Toulouse - and it's not an impossible one, " said Beardshaw.
"On paper we're only two good seasons away from playing in the Heineken Cup. We've just got to keep on working hard, keep on improving and keep on dreaming."