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ERC can confirm that the Federation Française de Rugby (FFR) has withdrawn its application to host the 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals, due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the availability of the Stade de France.
ERC, organisers of European club rugby's two cross-border tournaments, are today (Tuesday, 22 September) delighted to welcome Amlin into their family of partners in a deal that will see the European Challenge Cup immediately rebranded across Europe and beyond as the Amlin Challenge Cup.
Amlin's wide ranging partnership with ERC, covering both flagship tournaments will further enhance the profile of the competitions and will coincide with the launch of the new Amlin Challenge Cup format.
Derek McGrath, ERC Chief Executive commented: "This is great news for European rugby. The new title sponsorship, together with the revised tournament format will give the Amlin Challenge Cup a major boost as we enter the new European season.
"Working in partnership with Amlin across Europe, ERC looks forward to greatly enhancing the profile and awareness of the tournament's exciting brand of European rugby throughout our expanding territories."
Amlin Chief Executive Charles Philipps said: "We are extremely proud to announce this partnership with ERC which supports our strategy for European growth over the coming years. As leaders in our respective fields, a partnership between Amlin and ERC is an excellent fit and we look forward to working collaboratively for the benefit of European rugby and to the enjoyment of our brokers and clients."
AMLIN CHALLENGE CUP 2010
The inaugural Amlin Challenge Cup will see the introduction of three of the Pool runner-ups from the Heineken Cup at the quarter-finals with the winner automatically qualifying for the 2010/11 Heineken Cup - and also earning an additional Heineken Cup spot for their country.
The European season will kick-off with Amlin Challenge Cup action on Thursday evening, 8 October with the clash of Worcester Warriors and Montpelllier live on Sky Sports and France 4, while Friday 9, October will see Castres Olympique welcome Toulon live on Eurosport France. A minimum of two games will be broadcast live from each of the 6 Pool weekends.
Twenty teams from England, France, Ireland, Italy, Spain and Romania - including former double Heineken Cup winners London Wasps - will contest the 2009/10 Amlin Challenge Cup in which a host of international stars will be on parade.
These include current French captain Lionel Nallet and international team-mate Sebastien Chabal with newcomers Racing-Metro 92; Springbok Johann van Niekerk at Toulon; Steve Borthwick and Justin Marshall at Saracens and Simon Shaw, Danny Cipriani and Phil Vickery at Wasps.
AMLIN CHALLENGE CUP ... SOME FACTS AND FIGURES
* European Club rugby celebrates 15 seasons in 2009/10 with the inaugural Heineken Cup played in 1995/96.
* The first European Challenge Cup tournament was played the following season in 1996/96.
* There have been 13 European Challenge Cup finals with 265 players from 17 nations the proud owners of European Challenge Cup final winners' medals.
* Three clubs - Sale Sharks, Harlequins, ASM Clermont Auvergne (as Montferrand in 1999) have won on two occasions. London Wasps are the only team to have won both the Heineken Cup and European Challenge Cup.
* There have been 972 European Challenge Cup matches played so far. The four-figure barrier will be broken when Worcester Warriors clash with Connacht Rugby at Sixways in Round 3 on Saturday, 12 December.
* The 2010 Amlin Challenge Cup winners will automatically qualify for the 2010/11 Heineken Cup - and also earn an additional place in the tournament for a club from their country.
* The ERC Ranking points available to the Amlin Challenge Cup winner has been increased from 5 to 6 points
* Three Heineken Cup teams who have finished as Pool runners-up will qualify for the knock-out stages of the Amlin Challenge Cup. The trio who finish as the third, fourth and fifth ranked Heineken Cup Pool runners-up will contest the Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-finals with the five Pool winners.
* The arrivals of Racing-Metro 92 and Olympus Rugby XV Madrid will take the number of teams who will have taken part in the tournament to 90.
* Connacht Rugby - who have been ever present and played more tournament matches than any other team - will play their 85th tournament match when they host Spanish side Olympus Rugby XV Madrid in Round 1.
* Saracens will become the ninth team to play 50 tournament matches when they launch their title challenge at home to Rugby Rovigo in Round 1 on Sunday, 11 October - and Castres Olympique will join those elite 50-match teams if they qualify for the knock-out stages.
* There have been 6,045 tries scored in those 972 matches at a match average of over six tries a game.
Amlin plc is a leading independent insurer operating in the Lloyd's, UK, Continental European and Bermudian markets. We provide insurance cover to commercial enterprises across a broad range of risks including aviation, marine and international property & casualty. We also provide reinsurance protection to other insurance companies around the world. A FTSE-250 quoted company, Amlin's Syndicate 2001 is highly rated at 'A+' (Excellent) by AM Best and 'A1' (Stable) by Moody's.
Amlin in the UK
Amlin UK is an acknowledged leader in fleet motor business, written under the famous Summit brand and is currently building a strong reputation across a full range of commercial insurance products. Our property & package, liability, professional indemnity and financial institutions business is sourced through both wholesale and retail brokers across the UK and Ireland.
Amlin in Europe
In November 2008, Amlin acquired Anglo French Underwriters, the largest Lloyd's coverholder in France which focuses on SME business. Marketing under the AFU brand, we offer property, cargo, professional liability and specie through a network of more than 1300 independent regional brokers throughout France.
In July 2009, Amlin completed the acquisition of Fortis Corporate Insurance NV (now Amlin Corporate Insurance), a leading provider of corporate property and casualty insurance for large commercial risks in the Netherlands, Belgium and France.