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ERC can confirm that the Federation Française de Rugby (FFR) has withdrawn its application to host the 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals, due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the availability of the Stade de France.
This means there will be 14 matches in Round 1 of the EUROPEAN CHALLENGE CUP, producing 14 winners to move into the second round. The two best defeated teams will join the 14 winners in Round 2 as 'Lucky Losers', providing eight games in that round.
Meanwhile, the 12 remaining first round losers will move into Round 1 of the EUROPEAN SHIELD where they will be joined by four additional teams, two from Spain - Atletico Bera Bera, VRAC - one from Portugal - Clube Rugby Lisboa - and one from Romania - CSA Steau Bucuresti.
The return of a Romanian teams means there will be eight nations represented in the European Challenge Cup and Shield tournaments.
The EUROPEAN SHIELD clubs will be drawn in such a way in Round 1 of that tournament that they cannot meet a team from their own nation. Once again, all matches in both competitions will be played on a home and away basis.
The draw for home and away status in the first leg of Rounds 2 to the semi-final in the EUROPEAN CHALLENGE CUP, and Round 1 to the semi-finals in the EUROPEAN SHIELD, will be conducted after the initial draw has been made.
Unseeded teams home in first leg on 22/23/24 October and seeded teams (in bold) home in second leg on 29/30/31 October
Game 1: Catania v Sale Sharks
Game 2: L'Aquila v Agen
Game 3: UCM Madrid v Viadana
Game 4: Grenoble v Leeds Tykes
Game 5: Petraca Padova v Beziers
Game 6: Rovigo v Montpellier
Game 7: Narbonne v Connacht
Game 8: Auch v London Irish
Game 9: GrAN Parma v Pau
Game 10: Leonessa v Montferrand
Game 11: AA Coimbra v The Borders
Game 12: Bayonne v Saracens
Game 13: El Salvador v Rugby Parma
Game 14: Worcester v Brive
First named winner / lucky loser home in first leg on 3/4/5 December, 2004, and second named winner / lucky loser home in second leg on 10/11/12 December
Game 15: Lucky Loser v Winner Game 1
Game 16: Winner Game 2 v Winner Game 3
Game 17: Winner Game 5 v Winner Game 4
Game 18: Winner Game 7 v Winner Game 6
Game 19: Winner Game 9 v Winner Game 8
Game 20: Winner Game 10 v Winner Game 11
Game 21: Winner Game 13 v Winner Game 12
Game 22: Winner Game 14 v Lucky Loser
First named winner home in first leg on 7/8/9 January, 2005 and second named winner home in second leg on 14/15/16 January.
Game 23: Winner Game 15 v Winner Game 16
Game 24: Winner Game 17 v Winner Game 18
Game 25: Winner Game 19 v Winner Game 20
Game 26: Winner Game 21 v Winner Game 22