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ERC can confirm that the Federation Française de Rugby (FFR) has withdrawn its application to host the 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals, due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the availability of the Stade de France.
HOW THE DRAW WAS MADE . . .
The 28 teams from seven different countries were broken down into the following categories:
France (10), Italy (8), England (5), Spain (2), Ireland (1), Scotland (1) and Portugal (1).
The 14 seeded teams were:
France (6): Brive, Beziers, A.S. Monferrand, Montpellier, Agen, Section Paloise
England (4): Sale Sharks, London Irish, Saracens and Leeds Tykes
Italy (2): Viadana, Overmach Rugby Parma
Ireland (1): Connacht
Scotland (1): The Borders
The 14 non-seeded teams were:
France (4): RC Narbonne, Grenoble, Auch, Bayonne Italy (6): Rovigo, Petrarca Padova, GrAN Parma, L'Aquila, Leonessa and Catania
Spain (2): Centransa El Salvador, UCM Madrid
England (1): Worcester
Portugal (1): A.A Coimbra
In order to ensure teams from the same country cannot play each other in the first round, the draw followed these criteria:
1. There will be two bags out of which the Drawing Officer will take the teams. Bag1 will hold the non-seeds, Bag 2 will hold the seeds.
2. In order to eliminate the possibility of the four French non-seeded clubs (RC Narbonne, Grenoble, Auch, Bayonne) being drawn against the six French seeded clubs, the four non-seeded teams will be placed in Bag 1 at the start of the Draw. The drawing officer will then place the eight non-French seeds (Sale Sharks, London Irish, Saracens, Leeds Tykes, Viadana, Overmach Rugby Parma, Connacht, The Borders into Bag 2.
3. The Drawing Officer will then draw one team from Bag 1 (one of the French non-seeds). The Drawing Officer will then draw a team from Bag 2 to decide which team they will play in Round One. This will be repeated until each of the French non-seeds are drawn. Once the non-French seeds are all drawn, the Drawing Officer will place the 6 Italian non-seeds into Bag 1, (Rovigo, Petrarca Padova, GrAN Parma, L'Aquila, Leonessa and Catania).
4. The six French seeds will be put into Bag 2 (Brive, Beziers, A.S. Monferrand, Montpellier, Agen, Section Paloise). However, if any Italian seed(s) (Viadana or Overmach Rugby Parma ) remain in Bag 2 they must be removed to ensure two Italian teams cannot be drawn together.
5. The Drawing Officer will then draw one of the Italian non-seeds out of Bag 1. The Drawing Officer will then draw a team from Bag 2 to decide who the Italian non-seed will play.
6. When all the Italian non-seeds are drawn the Drawing Officer will place the English non-seed (Worcester) into Bag 1. If there are Italian seeds outside of Bag 2 they must now be placed back into Bag 2. Also, if there are any English seeded teams left in Bag 2 they will now be removed to avoid two English teams meeting in Round One.
7. The Drawing Officer will draw the English non-seed out of Bag 1. The Drawing Officer will then draw a team from Bag 2 to decide the opposition.
8. The Drawing Officer will then put the two Spanish non-seeds (El Salvador and UCM Madrid) and the Portuguese non-seeded team (A.A. Coimbra) into Bag 1. If there are any English seeds outside of Bag 2 not already drawn they will now be placed back into Bag 2.
9. The Drawing Officer will draw a team from Bag 1 and then will draw a team from Bag 2 to decide who they will play. The last four teams will then be drawn which will complete the first round Draw for the European Challenge Cup.
HOME OR AWAY? . . .
The unseeded club will play at home in the first leg in Round 1 of the EUROPEAN CHALLENGE CUP.
Round Two and Quarter-Finals
A draw was conducted to decide who will play at home first in Round 2 and the quarter-finals.
Each tie in the EUROPEAN CHALLENGE CUP was numbered from Game 1 to Game 14. Each game in Round One was represented by a disc and there were two further discs representing Lucky Loser 1 and Lucky Loser 2.
The Drawing Officer placed the relevant two discs into a bag. The first disc drawn out of the bag represented the home team in the first leg of that tie.
The draw to decide home and away status in the first-leg of the quarter-finals was conducted in the same fashion.
Following the completion of the quarter-final ties in January, 2005, a draw will take place to decide who will play at home first in the semi-final tie.
The EUROPEAN CHALLENGE CUP Final will be played in a one off match at a venue designated by ERC.
THE 'LUCKY LOSERS' CRITERIA
The 14 winning clubs in Round 1 of the EUROPEAN CHALLENGE CUP will be joined in Round 2 by two 'Lucky Losers' who will be determined by the following criteria:
3.1.1 the two Clubs with the most Match Points following the two legs of the tie (2 points for a win and 1 for a draw)
3.1.2 if Match Points are equal the Club(s) with the best aggregate points difference (points scored on the field of play) over the two legs of the tie.
3.1.3 if the aggregate points difference from the two legs is equal the Club(s) who scored the most tries over the two legs of the tie.
3.1.4 if the number of tries over the two legs is equal, the Club(s) that scored the most number of tries in the away leg of the tie.
3.1.5 if tries scored in the away leg are equal the Club(s) that scored the most number of points over the two legs of the tie.
3.1.6 if points scored over the two legs are equal the Club(s) that scored the most number of points in the away leg of the tie.
3.1.7 by the toss of a coin.
3.1.8 of the two teams qualifying under the above criteria, the team who qualifies under the earliest of these criteria shall be deemed "Lucky Loser" Number 1 and shall take their place in the draw as indicated on the Tournament Grid.
3.1.9 for the avoidance of doubt, the "Lucky Losers" will be drawn to play in Round Two against the Number One seeds from France and England. In the event that either or both of the Number One seeds are beaten in Round One of the European Challenge Cup, the "Lucky Losers" will play the victors of said seed or seeds.
THE EUROPEAN SHIELD
The Round 1 fixtures of the EUROPEAN SHIELD will be drawn immediately after Round 1 of the EUROPEAN CHALLENGE CUP has been completed.
The 12 remaining Round 1 losers in the EUROPEAN CHALLENGE CUP will move into a draw with the four new teams for Round 1 of the EUROPEAN SHIELD.
The draw will be conducted in such a way that no two teams from the same country will meet in Round 1
Home or Away?. . .
As soon as Round 1 fixtures are drawn, another draw will decide who will play at home in the first leg of Round 1 and the quarter-final ties.
Following the completion of the quarter-final ties a draw will take place to decide who will play at home first in the semi-finals.
The Final will be played in a one off match at a venue designated by ERC.