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ERC can confirm that the Federation Française de Rugby (FFR) has withdrawn its application to host the 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals, due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the availability of the Stade de France.
TEAM OF THE TOURNAMENT
I can only go for the champions - LONDON WASPS. Over the course of the tournament they deserved it, despite not being the better side in the final. They went to Perpignan and won, put Gloucester away at the Causeway and triumphed in front of the Munster hordes in Dublin. They have buckets of commitment and team spirit, plus that piece of `luck` and genius from the Welsh wizard Rob Howley.
TRY OF THE TOURNAMENT
BARRY DAVIES (Llanelli Scarlets v Northampton Saints). It summed up a spirited side putting in a fantastic performance. I will remember the Scarlets' victory at Franklin's Gardens, in a Pool match they just couldn't afford to lose.
Davies showed courage to try his luck through a crowd of Saints defenders. You need that bit of luck, just ask Howley.
PLAYER OF THE TOURNAMENT
SIMON SHAW (London Wasps). Yes, Wasps had Dallaglio's leadership, and Howley has never played better rugby, head and shoulders above every other scrum-half, but one guy consistently was there.
He came back from injury to appear in the final and was a colossus around the field, his sheer presence and weight in the scrum was vital. He is Wasps through and through, and should now have earned himself a place in the England team for the forthcoming tour, alongside Danny Grewcock in the engine room.
VILLAIN OF THE TOURNAMENT
CLEMENT POITRENAUD (Toulouse). It may be the obvious choice but I just don't know what he was thinking about to allow Howley tom nip in for the match and tournament-winning try. If he didn't think Howley was fast he was wrong, it was a moment of non-concentrational madness.
His error cost his team the European Cup because, if it went to extra time, I believe Toulouse would have won. Poitrenaud is a good player, but he will have to live with that incident for the rest of his life.
MOMENT OF THE TOURNAMENT
Toulouse breaking out from under their posts in the final. Toulouse were outstanding, they played like the team I picked to win the trophy at the start of the season. That is the way you play rugby - power, pace, good handling and off-loads, it's even `sexy.`
A message to all coaches and youngsters - that's how rugby should be played, they could have scored five or six tries on another day.
You need skill, instead of going into the gym take a rugby ball out on the park